Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fun With Cheese

I found these great Parmesan Cheese crisps at the store the other day: they're these round crispy treats made entirely with parmesan, so they are zero carb.  They were also insanely expensive - almost $7 for a small container.

As I was munching on this indulgence, I thought to myself, "I bet these would be pretty easy to make at home."

I was right.

Cheesy Parmesan Crisps
Finely grated real parmesan cheese (NOT the powdered kind)
Italian seasoning blend

Line a plate with parchment paper, if you have it; if you don't that's OK, it just makes removing the cheese crisps easier later.

Sprinkle a generous pinch (about a tablespoon or so) in a small pile on the plate; make several such piles all around the plate, keeping them at least an inch from each other - the piles will spread when they melt.  Also, don't make the piles too tall, you want the crisp to be thin and fairly even all the way through.

Sprinkle each pile with a dash of salt and italian seasoning.  Microwave at high for 30 seconds; open the microwave door to let the steam vent out.  Then microwave for 25 seconds more.

Remove the plate from the microwave and let the crisps cool. 


If you used parchment paper, just bend the paper away from the crisps to remove; if you didn't use the paper, use a fork to gently pry the crisps off the plate while they're still a bit warm.  Finish cooling once they've been pried loose.


And enjoy!!  These are super easy and quick to make, have plenty of good fat in them, and if done right they should help satisfy that need for something crispy and decadent.  Even if they turn out a bit chewy, they are so darn good you can't really call that a flaw.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I've been wondering this same thing.  This kind lady did the hard work, so I thought I'd share.

Vacation Keto: It can be done!

So I spent last week in sunny California.  It was a combo trip: a quickie vacation ending in the awesome wedding of my only brother. I had a fantastic time, and ate tons of good food. And with the exception of one meal (come on, I'm going to eat wedding cake), everything I ate was entirely keto.

Don't think I'm a saint for sticking to my "diet" while out of town.  I just figured that my underlying difficulty metabolizing carbohydrates doesn't go away just because I do.  This wasn't about gaining weight, I just didn't want to make myself ill under the guise of having a good time.  Keto is tasty and makes me feel good; neither of those things make vacation anything less than totally awesome.

Keto is not a diet: it's a lifestyle.  It's also quite easy to stick to while travelling - fun, even!  I treated it like a kind of a game: How many carbs can I *not* eat today?  Something else to consider: it's very handy not to be hungry all the time while one is sightseeing.  Just sayin'.

So how did I do it?  Easy!  Here are some of my keto-friendly travelling tips.

  1. Avoid Italian restaurants. It's not that you can't go keto at your local pasta joint (salad, anyone?) but why torture yourself.  If you MUST eat something with tomato sauce, go for pizza.  Load it with meat and eat just the toppings.  Yummy!
  2. Appetizers - fried mozzarella and buffalo wings are pretty darn safe.  BBQ wings not so much, sorry.  The sauce is usually loaded with corn syrup or molasses.  The fried cheese just needs to be denuded of its breading and then you can chow down to your heart's delight.  Don't mind the stares, you're on vacation.  No one there will ever see you again.
  3. Steamed veggies are the best side dish EVER.  Most restaurants will steam and season them to perfection.  One place even brought me a plate of fresh butter on request.  I actually cleaned up the veggies before finishing my excellent herb-crusted steak.
  4. Drink water, not diet soda.  Don't tease yourself with sweetness, it'll make dessert much more tempting.  Water is awesome, especially with a slice of lemon.
  5. Meats are everywhere, but be sure to get your fat!!  Butter, sour cream, greasy sausage with your whatever you have to.  It helps keep you full and focused.  Remember, protein can still be turned into glucose.  Fat is your best friend, and it's oh so tasty too.  Remember, you're on vacation! You deserve yummies.
  6. Make your cheat meal totally worth it.  Let's be honest, you're gonna eat something "forbidden" sooner or later.  Don't let it be an accident, ie that white chocolate-topped fudge cake that's just too tempting to refuse.  Plan what you're going to cheat with and plan when.  It'll give you something to look forward to, and adds to the fun of the game.  By the time you get to that cheat meal you'll feel so proud of yourself that the sweets will really satisfy.  Even better, you might find that the treat is a bit too sweet, almost a let-down after the fun of eating keto.  Talk about motivation to get back on track!

Most of all, enjoy yourself!  You're on VACATION!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cheese Sticks with Dipping Oil

Two posts in one day!  You guys are gonna get spoiled.

This one is my own creation.  One thing I love about Italian restaurants is when they serve warm fresh bread with herbed olive oil - delightful!  Of course bread is out for me now, but there's no reason why I can't have the oil; and warmed string cheese sticks make a nice vehicle for dipping into it.

Cheese Stick with Dipping Oil

6 string cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, combine the oil and seasonings; warm in microwave about 15 seconds.  Add the parmesan cheese and let sit a few minutes so the flavors can combine.

Lay out the string cheese in a single layer on a plate.  Microwave for 15 seconds.


And enjoy!  Be aware that the seasonings will usually sit at the bottom of the bowl, so dip accordingly.  This makes a nice, quick snack if you're in the mood for lots of flavor without a lot of work.

Chicago Style Deep-Dish Pizza - KETO FRIENDLY!

This looks simply awesome.  It's basically the same almond-meal pizza crust I posted before, but this gives directions for making it deep-dish style, and how to layer it for maximum awesomeness.   The link to the recipe is below the picture.

Eat Keto's Chicago Style Stuffed Pizza Recipe

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls - Not Mine

Yes, I'm stealing another recipe.  And yes, it's largely because I want to try it myself and if I don't post it here I'll lose the recipe.  I will post an update once I get time to make these.  If you're really lucky, there will even be enough cinnamon rolls left over for me to take and post pics!

Maria's Nutritious and Delicious Journal - Amazing Cinnamon Rolls

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Recipe Update: Butter Balls

Oh my gosh, ADD THE PEANUT BUTTER!!  I warmed about 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter in the microwave and added it to the butterball batter, and it tastes awesome!  Might need to add a bit more stevia though; if you use regular peanut butter it'll probably be sweet enough on it's own, but beware - it has sugar in it.

Also, I added an egg this time.  I think it gives it a more cookie-dough texture, and it definitely adds fat and protein.  I might even add two next time; I love eggs.  Eggs and butter are best friends.


Butter on, faithful readers!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crustless Quiche

Who needs a crust?  They're a pain to make, God alone knows what's in the pre-made ones you get from the store, and they just add needless carbs.  Eggs bake just fine without a crust, which was good news for me when I developed a craving for quiche but wanted to stick with low carb.  No more boring breakfasts for me!

Hearty Crustless Breakfast Quiche
8 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 tsp onion powder (or you can use real onions, 1/2 small, chopped finely)
1/2 small tomato, diced

1 cup broccoli florets
6 slices bacon, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Start with a large pie pan, the deeper the better.  Preheat the oven to 375.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, and seasonings together.  Add the swiss and half the cheddar; stir together.   Add in the broccoli and the tomato - I like to squeeze the diced tomatoes out thoroughly to get rid of as much excess water as possible.  Sprinkle the crumbled bacon in, and mix all together thoroughly.

Pour egg mixture into the pie pan.  You shouldn't need to grease the pan, but you could smear it with a little butter if you like.  Sprinkle about 1/2 of the remaining cheddar on top; bake 20-30 minutes until the middle is set.  Add the remaining cheddar in the last few minutes.

It will puff up like a souffle, and then will shrink as it cools.  But don't worry, it'll taste simply awesome when you're done.


If the above toppings/seasonings sound kind of boring, here are some other things I've tried: ham or sausage instead of bacon.  Sun-dried tomatoes and basil, with either feta or some REALLY sharp cheddar.  I'm even plotting a pizza quiche, with pepperoni, provalone, italian seasonings and tomato; if it comes out well, I will take pics and post the results.

The possibilities are pretty endless, so have fun!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Steak Salad

So here's a tip for my fellow ketoans: any sandwich can be turned into a salad. Well, almost any sandwich; I don't recommend putting peanut butter and jelly over iceberg.  Yick.

Aside from PB&J, most of your favorite sandwiches or subs can easily be converted.  Honestly, most sandwiches have lettuce and tomato anyway.  Just top it with tuna, cold cuts, or in this case, steak, and munch away! 

One of my favorite subs used to be a steak sub, with lots of melty cheese.   I adapted it into a salad, and have no regrets.

Steak Salad
1/2 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2-4 Tbsp mayonnaise
4 oz shredded mozarella cheese
Lettuce of choice - I like iceberg, but feel free to get fancy with romaine or mesclun mix

Shred the lettuce into a large bowl.  Top with cheese.  Set aside.

In a frying pan, brown the beef; drain and return the beef to the pan.  Drizzle olive oil over the beef and add the seasonings.  Remove the pan from heat; mix the mayonnaise into the meat just till mixed.  I like a lot, but you can start with the smaller amount to start with if you like.

Spread the meat over top of the cheese in bowl of lettuce.  Let sit for a minute to melt the cheese.  Enjoy!


Yes, the mayonnaise is the dressing.  May sound gross, but believe me, it tastes amazing, and it really pulls the whole thing together.  You could also fry up onions, green peppers, and mushrooms before returning the meat to the frying pan if that's how you usually eat your steak subs; I'm kind of boring when it comes to some things.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Butter Balls

We are currently under construction at my house; or rather, destruction.  We're tearing down a part of our house so it can be rebuilt (correctly, this time.)  So you'll have to bear with me if my posts are a bit sporadic; I'm still eating keto, and still trying new recipes, and I'll post them for you as often as I can.

My mom used to make these cookies called butterballs.  They were basically flour, sugar, chocolate chips and lots of butter, baked in the oven and rolled in powdered sugar.  Since it's summer and I'm drowning in fresh, homemade butter I thought....well, why not?  Keto isn't just about low carb, it's also about eating high fat - healthy fats, full of nutrients and hunger-busting fat-calories that can't be converted to glucose.  I've been looking for ways to increase my fat intake; when you're busy, it's easy to fall back on proteins.  Which are great for you, don't get me wrong; but the ideal is to teach your body to burn fat as fuel.  That's how those lumps around your hip and belly melt away.

I realize most people don't have access to large amounts of fresh, high-quality butter like I do, but these would make a good treat for anyone.  I recommend spending the extra money on good quality, unsalted butter; salted butter is usually of poorer quality (the salt hides a multitude of sins.)

1/2 lb sweet cream butter
2 Tbsp stevia powder or Splenda (or add more to taste)
1-2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
70% or greater cacao chocolate bar

Allow butter to come to room temperature.  Mix in stevia, salt and vanilla; blend till smooth.  Slowly mix in coconut flour till mixture begins to thicken; coconut flour absorbs moisture like crazy, so feel free to adjust to get the texture you want.  Grate the chocolate into the mixture; fold in gently.

As is, it should have a taste and texture similar to cookie dough.  If you want a firmer texture, you can drop by spoonfuls onto a plate or small cookie sheet and refrigerate for a few hours.  Enjoy!


I have a hard time not eating a lot of this in one sitting; but then I'm not hungry for hours.  They're tasty with good staying power.  If you don't have coconut flour, I think almond flour would work well too; it would be a different texture, but the nutty flavor should add a nice richness to the mixture.  I'll try that next time, and tell you how it comes out.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Keto Pound Cakes

OK, sorry, I'm stealing this one from someone else.  It's been a hectic week on the farm, and it'll pretty much stay that way through the rest of the summer, but I will try to keep up with posting recipes as much as possible.  I have not made these yet, but I'm going to as soon as I can - they sound lovely, and would be nice and portable for taking to work.

makes 4 in personal cake tins
3/4c butter softened
4 oz cream cheese softened
12-16 pkts of stevia or aspartame
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond
3 eggs
1 c coconut flour 
1. preheat oven to 325
2. grease your tins
3. mix your butter, cream cheese, sugar sub., vanilla, and almond extract with a hand mixer until creamed together
4. Add one egg at a time alternating egg and flour until both are in the batter. Add flour slowly as it can make the batter thick, use less flour if necessary, if you've already put it all in and it's too thick, add almond milk until cream cheese consistency- this will never be a liquid batter. 
5. Place in tins to top, this will not be a rising batter. 
6. Bake for 45 mins, but check after 30, your top will be golden, a toothpick will come out clean, and on touch, the cake will spring back.
7. Let cool and enjoy, come up with a topping for it, or just add raspberries and whipped cream!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Low Carb Chicken Alfredo

I used to make this starting with a basic roux, or white sauce: melted butter mixed with flour, then thinned with milk to make a cream sauce base that can pretty much be flavored however you like.  Well, the flour is pure carbs, so I had to come up with an alternative.

Thankfully, the world has cream cheese.  Cream cheese fixes everything.

Chicken Al-Keto
2 large chicken breasts
1 head of broccoli (or frozen broccoli florets)
1 8oz box of cream cheese
3/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Slice the chicken breasts into strips; they cook faster that way.  You can sprinkle a bit of each of the above seasonings on the chicken for extra flavor.  Once they're mostly cooked, remove from the pan to a bowl but leave the drippings in the pan.

Over low heat, melt the cream cheese into the drippings.  Add in the milk slowly until the mixture thickens.  Add in parmesan cheese and seasonings; once the sauce is smoothly combined, stir in the chicken and keep warm over low heat.

In separate pot, steam broccoli, or microwave the frozen florets per package directions.  Serve with the chicken and sauce.


This is a good one to serve with others who aren't doing keto; all you gotta do is prepare some fettucini on the side and you have a "normal" meal.  Me, I like to stick to the good stuff and skip the pasta.  The sauce was always my favorite part anyway.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Keto Waffles:An Update

Alright, so I finally got around to making the keto waffles.  Of all the keto recipes I've tried so far, this is the only one I probably won't make again.  It's not that it isn't successful: the batter did fry up into nice waffle shapes.  But they're also extremely light (ie, mostly air), crumble easily, and have very little flavor.  Over all, not as satisfying or as simple as the keto pancakes, and I just don't see going to the extra effort for less satiety.

On another note: I bought some low-carb jellys at the store the other day to try them out.  I've read rave reviews from other ketoans, particularly about the Polanor low sugar fruit spreads, so I thought I'd try them.  They're surprisingly bland; almost no sweetness to them at all despite the Splenda, and even the fruit flavor was lacking to me.  In short, from now on I'll skip the pricey jarred stuff and opt for some fresh fruit on my pancakes instead if I need something sweet.  Fewer chemicals and better flavor.  After all, as much as I'm focused on watching my carbs, fruits DO have good nutrients and are a very acceptable cheat in my book. 

So there you go, I saved you the time and expense of buying whey protein and low-sugar jams.  You're welcome, and I will get another tried-and-true recipe up in the next couple of days.

Keto on!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This is why I do keto...

OK, I'm not 80lbs overweight.  I'm not in my 60's, and I haven't battled diabetes for decades.  I'm doing keto because I never want to end up in that situation.  Diabetes runs in my family, and it's all weight related.  I am a dialysis nurse; most of my patients are diabetics, and most of them are in those dialysis chairs three times a week with an impossible diet and pill regimen because of diabetes.  I don't want to live that way, ever.  Not if I can do something to prevent it.

Stories like this inspire me so much:

Beef Stroganoff

As promised!  I invented this recipe several years back as well, in response to my craving for the Hamburger Helper version.  I've learned this fact about cooking from scratch: with a little effort, one can usually recreate just about anything made by machine.  It may not taste precisely the same (they use commercial ingredients I'll never get my hands on), but the good news is that with rare exceptions they always taste much BETTER.  This recipe was one of my first copycats, and it spurred me on to copying many other common storebought foods.  I'll be sharing them here as time goes by.

I used to eat this over homemade noodles, but since pasta is no longer on my menu I often just eat a big bowl of the sauce.  Why not?  It's the best part of the meal anyway!  If that doesn't sound satisfying to you, you can prepare some chopped cauliflower as in the mock-aroni recipe, or you could combine it with spelt pasta.  While not really "low carb," it is much higher in fiber than regular pasta, resulting in far fewer net carbs; is wonderfully filling; and I believe is gluten free as well.

Beef Stroganoff

1 to 2 lbs beef tips (I like mine meaty!)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
4 oz cream cheese
2 beef bullion cubes
2 tbsp butter or ghee
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp italian seasonings
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, brown the beef tips in ghee or butter over medium heat.  When the beef is mostly cooked, stir in the sour cream and cream cheese; reduce heat to low and warm until the cream cheese is melted smoothly into the sour cream.  Add remaining seasonings and gently simmer a few minutes to let the flavors combine.  You may need to crush up the boullion cubes to get them to dissolve completely.

That's it!  It's a quick and hearty dinner, and kind on the carb budget.  Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cheeseburger "Mock"-aroni

I invented this recipe years ago, when I was still eating pasta.  I love Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper, but as the boxes got smaller and smaller I decided to try my hand at making it from scratch.  The end results were quite satisfactory in my household, and became a regular item on the menu.  At least, until I started eating keto and had to set aside my beloved pasta dishes.

Then a few weeks ago I saw a recipe for a mock macaroni and cheese using cauliflower instead of noodles.  Eureka!  I tried it tonight, and it was scrumptious; more al dente than pasta, and more filling too.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

Cheeseburger Mock-a-Roni
1 lb ground beef
1 head cauliflower
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp ketchup
1/2 tsp pickle juice or relish, if desired
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Dash paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small pot, bring 1 qt water to boil.  Chop the cauliflower into small florets; boil 5 minutes; drain and set aside.

While the cauliflower is boiling, brown the ground beef in a large saucepan.  Drain and set aside.

In the same saucepan, melt the cream cheese into the sour cream over very low heat.  Add the cheddar cheese and raise heat slightly, stirring till all is melted smoothly together.  Add seasonings.  Mix in the ground beef and cauliflower.


If you have family members who simply won't eat cauliflower, you can prepare 1 1/2 cups elbow noodles instead.  But you eat the cauliflower; it's good for you, and your waistline will thank you for it.  I couldn't stop eating it myself; it took everything I had to save some for lunch tomorrow.  In fact, I wish I'd taken a picture; I'll add one the next time I make this.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Keto Sliders

I've never quite understood the point of a "slider."  You take a perfectly good burger, miniaturize it, and sell them as something special.  Personally, I don't want my bite-size determined by anyone else.  Most chefs have no idea how big my mouth is.

However, when it comes to following a keto-friendly diet, the slider is a handy invention.  Why?  Because I have not yet found a lettuce leaf that will contain a Big Mac.  They always tear first.

So instead, I save the hardier inner leaves of your typical iceberg lettuce and pair them with my always-smaller-than-intended-because-I-forget-meat-shrinks hamburger patties, top with my favorite condiments, and voila!  A meal fit for a very lean king.

1lb ground beef
1 head iceberg lettuce
Sliced cheese
Pickles/Onions/Relish/Whatever else you like on your burger

Form meat into patties.  Make them BIGGER than you think you should; I always do this, and they still end up too small.  But that's OK, because you want "too small."  Cook on grill or stovetop till done.  I season mine with salt and pepper.

Pull apart the lettuce leaves carefully.  The outer leaves are much larger, but they tend to tear.  The middle ones are better, but they tend to stick stubbornly to the others.  The inner leaves just before you get to the yellowish core should be just right.  Toss the rest of the leaves into a plastic bag and save in the fridge for your next salad.

Place the cooked meat patties onto/into the lettuce leaves and top with your favorite toppings.  Go easy on onions and tomato, as they are higher in carbs.  I usually use a dab of homemade ketchup; it's not low carb, but it's HFCS free and I just gotta have a little ketchup on my burgers.


Please forgive the poor lighting in the picture, we are in the area hit by the derecho last week and still have no power.  Thankfully our generator is holding up, but we are trying to conserve on how many lights/appliances we use.  Keep those still in the dark (and without water!) in your pre-prandial prayers!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Keto Waffles

Here's another selfish post.  I really want to make these, so if I post the recipe here I can find it easily.  This is borrowed from another blog which has many other tasty, low-carb recipes: check it out, when you have time!  We're still having power problems due to the super derecho that blew through our area this past weekend, so I'm not posting as often as I would like.  Hopefully everything will be back to normal by the end of the week.

1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup JAY ROBB vanilla egg white or whey protein
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 TBS aluminum free baking powder
1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
4 eggs
4 TBS butter or coconut oil, melted

Preheat waffle iorn to high. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry. Let sit for 5 minutes. Bake according to your waffle iron directions (I spray my waffle iron with THIS Coconut oil spray). Enjoy! Serve with Nature's Hollow Xylitol syrup. Makes 10 waffles.

Traditional Waffle = 223 calories, 8.5g fat, 5g protein, 27 carbs, 0.7g fiber (26.3 effective
"Healthified" Waffle = 144 calories, 8g fat, 12.2g protein, 4g carbs, 2.1g fiber (1.9 effective)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Once upon a time, my delicate tastebuds couldn't handle anything spicier than mashed potatoes.  Ketchup, salt and pepper comprised my entire condiment repertoire.  Then I was inadvertently introduced to the spicy side of cooking, and I was hooked: indian curries, buffalo sauce, even habanero salsa.  None of it is too spicy for me!

So imagine my delight when I found that one of my favorite Buffalo chicken treats is actually low-carb!  Of course, I can't eat it with crackers anymore, but a spoon works just as well.  If you like celery, I imagine this would be a perfect partner.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 - 12.5oz canned chicken
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1- 8oz package cream cheese
2 Tbsp Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Warm the cream cheese in the microwave till soft.  Combine it with all the ingredients except the cheddar cheese in an oven safe dish.  Bake at 350 about 15 minutes; top with cheese and bake another 10 minutes or till cheese is melted.

In a pinch, you can halve the recipe and just cook it all together in the microwave-safe dish for a quick snack.  I just did, and I have no regrets.

Under Construction

Yay, I finally figured out how to play with my blog design.  This setup is much more "me," and I can kind of pretend that those mountains are the Blue Ridge (although I'm quite sure they're not, that would be too much of a coincidence.)  But don't be surprised if it changes some yet, I'm having way too much fun to settle in to one design this soon.

Recipe coming later!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Peanut Butter Fudge

Here's another one I haven't tried yet, but it sounds too good to pass up.  And if I have it posted here, I'll be able to find it easily when I have time to make it.  So really, this is a selfish post.  Very, very selfish.

NOT my recipe, I'm reposting it from a keto forum that reposted it from another keto forum.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup natural peanut butter, low salt

 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda
2/3 cup whey protein powder, vanilla flavor, 2 scoops

Melt the butter and peanut butter together in the microwave on HIGH for 1-2 minutes; whisk well. Whisk in the cream cheese until well blended and smooth. Whisk in the Splenda then the whey protein powder and blend well. Line a 7 x 5" baking dish with wax paper or nonstick foil. Spread the fudge mixture in the pan and chill or freeze until set. Cut into 20 squares. Store in the refrigerator or freeze.

Makes 20 pieces
Can be frozen

With granular Splenda:
Per Piece: 105 Calories; 9g Fat; 4g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 2.5g Net Carbs
Per 2 Pieces: 211 Calories; 18g Fat; 8g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 5g Net Carbs

With liquid Splenda:
Per Piece: 101 Calories; 9g Fat; 4g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Per 2 Pieces: 201 Calories; 18g Fat; 8g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1.5g Dietary Fiber; 2.5g Net Carbs 

The link is here, if you want to see pictures.  I still haven't gotten that fancy yet.  Maybe in the winter, when I'm not trying to squeeze 40 hours of work into every day.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Holy Grail of Keto:Low-Carb Pizza Crust

Let's face it: Americans love pizza.  And it's not just a summer fling; we have a vigorous, healthy, long term relationship with that crispy, melty, saucy little pie of savory goodness, and it doesn't look like it's going to end any time soon.

But with all the carbs in the crust, what's a ketoan to do?  Well first of all, don't despair: the toppings are usually very keto-friendly.  Remember how your mom always yelled at you for eating the toppings off the pizza?  Now you get to do it, guilt-free!  I've gotten so good at this trick that it seems a strange, distant memory that I once too noshed on pizza crust.  (The only downside is having to consume half a pizza's worth of topping to be full and risking the ire of little old ladies' sense of culinary thriftiness.)

However, there is an alternative.  Inventive keto eaters have been experimenting with everything from cauliflower to ground beef to come up with a low carb crust; and after trying several recipes I think I've hit upon the best of the bunch.  As a bonus, it's also gluten free!

Holy Grail Pizza Crust
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar is best)
1 dollop of cream cheese (1-2 Tbsp)
3/4 cup plus or minus 1-2 Tbsp almond meal
1 egg

Preheat oven to 425 degres.

Place the cheese in a med bowl; microwave till melted.  LET IT COOL enough to handle with your hands; be patient, or you'll burn yourself (ask me how I know this.) 

Once you can handle it safely, add the cream cheese and egg and almond flour; mix with your hands until it forms a ball.  This will be quite sticky at first; almond meal varies from batch to batch, so add carefully until you get the right consistency.  If you've ever made pizza dough, you'll be surprised how much like flour dough it feels - and tastes!  If you've never made dough before, don't worry, you'll get the hang of it. 

Set the dough aside.  On a cookie sheet, spread a sheet of parchment paper.  Carefully spread the dough out on the parchment paper; don't worry too much about making it fit the cookie sheet, just spread it out fairly thin and even.   Place in oven and bake till edges start to turn golden brown.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven; top with your favorite toppings.  (Be careful not to glop on too much tomato sauce, it's fairly high in carbs).  Load on the meat, veggies and cheese, baby!

Return to the oven on the top rack till cheese is melty and the edges of the crust brown nicely.   I don't need to tell you what to do with it from here; I'm sure you can handle this part.

This dough seriously tastes amazing, and it reheats well too.  At last, we can have our pizza and eat it too!  (Cue the romantic music.)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Breakfast Idea

I love custard, but sometimes I just don't have time to bake it.  This looks like a good stove top option; I must be honest and say I haven't tried it yet, but I have tons of eggs, so it won't be long.


5 eggs
1 tablespoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together eggs, heavy cream and nutmeg. Melt butter in small pan of stovetop. Pour egg mixture into hot butter- stir till done.

Sprinkle with a little more nutmeg before eating.

I think I might add a bit of stevia to this, I suspect it might need just a touch of sweetness.  I'll let you know once I've tried it!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Keto Diary

OK, I'm running short on time and don't have a recipe for you. Instead, I thought I'd give you all a run-down of what I've eaten today.

Almond-Blueberry Pancakes sprinkled with stevia
Scrambled eggs
Small glass of milk

I really wasn't hungry.  I had a chunk of sharp cheddar and a zero-carb grape soda (I do splurge on them sometimes)

2 small blocks of 85% dark chocolate (only 6 net carbs)  I guess I'm feeling decadent today!

2 pork chops (from my home raised pigs, they are scrumptious and just dripping with the tastiest fat ever)
Green beans with butter
Large glass of milk 

I didn't drink nearly enough water today, especially since the temps were over 90, but otherwise this is a pretty typical keto day for me.  Oddly enough,Thursdays tend to be my "cheat" days; those days I allow myself some sweet stuff, though I still try to keep the carb count down.  I don't know why I always am in the mood for sweets on Thursdays, but since I take 1 cheat day per week it works out rather well.  I think this approach will help me not take a cheat month like I did last year around the holidays.  Bad idea.  Greatly regret it.

Anyway, that was my day!  I need to go now, I'm getting grease all over the keyboard.

Everybody Loves Line Graphs

I like visual aids.  30 years ago, the ADA implemented new guidelines for healthy eating.  The goal was to reduce obesity in the American population.

How well did that work?

Now the "experts" will tell you that the fault is ours; we Americans are too rich, too lazy, too gluttonous to bother following the approved guidleines and are being punished for our sins by growing ever fatter.  But is that really the case?  Are we any less lazy, rich, or gluttonous than we were before the ADA began it's high-carb, low-fat propaganda?  Are were really any less motivated to be healthier, to live longer, to avoid illness than we were 30 years ago?

I don't think so.  As much as our society has changed over the years (and no necessarily for the better, but that's a topic for another blog), we're all still human.  We don't generally want to be sick, fat, and unhealthy.  We're not completely devoid of all self control.  I don't know any overweight people who don't care that they're overweight; they may treat it with glibness in public, but they also nibble delicately at lettuce leaves sprinkled with low-fat vinaigrette and diet boxed foods, hoping the weight will someday start to shed just like the ADA assures them it will.  With few exceptions, fat people don't want to be fat.

So, why do we keep getting fatter?

Yes, I'll grant you, Americans overeat.  That goes without saying.  But the underlying question is: WHY do we overeat?  Is it a lack of caring on our part?  Or is our information wrong?  Does a high carb diet actually make us lose weight, or does it fuel the feeding frenzy that makes us gain?

Maybe we're not just a bunch of fat slobs who deserve what we get.  Maybe we've just been taught wrong, and the people who taught us are too ashamed to admit it.  Maybe they're too busy making money off our obesity to care to set the record straight.  Maybe a lot of things; but the bottom line is, what we've been taught DOES NOT WORK.  In fact, it's generating the exact opposite of our goals.

So......what are you gonna do about it?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Doctor's Guide to Keto

I thought about writing an uber-long post about keto, which is something I talk about constantly here but have yet to really explain.  But really, other far more qualified people than I have already written extensively on this subject.  So here's one of what will probably be a number of suggested-reading sites.

Keto is NOT a diet.  It's an approach to food that makes sense and really works.  Read all you can; don't stake your health on my say-so!

Mayonnaise Chicken

Yes, you read that right.  Mayonnaise is excellent keto food; it's carb free (or close to it, if you buy from the store) and is loaded with fat and protein. Paired with chicken, it makes excellent chicken salad; it's also a sauce unparalleled in this quick and easy recipe.  From prep to "Dinner's ready!" is only about 35 minutes.


4 chicken breasts
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup parmesan
Crushed pork rinds, enough to make about 1/2 cup
Italian seasonings (1-1 1/2 tsp)
Garlic powder (1/2 tsp)

Preheat oven to 425.
Combine crushed pork rinds, italian seasonings, and garlic in small bowl.  Set aside.
Mix mayonnaise and parmesan in small bowl.  Arrange chicken breasts on baking sheet; spread mayo mixture onto chicken.  Sprinkle pork rinds over chicken breasts.
Bake chicken 20-25 minutes or till cooked through.

A green salad makes a nice side with this, although if you're like me you'd rather fill up on the chicken.  It's that good.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chicken: It's What's For Dinner!

I love chicken.  I also love cheese.  And I've learned to love veggies, thanks to keto.  So one day I thought to myself, why not make a dinner out of all of the above?


2 chicken breasts (with the skins, if you want)
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp ghee
1/2 cup bacon bits
Seasonings (I use salt, pepper, garlic, poultry seasoning, and paprika)

Melt ghee in pan, brown the chicken breasts in the ghee.  Place chicken in baking dish, pour drippings over top.  Season to taste; I probably use around a tsp each of garlic and poultry seasoning, a half tsp salt, and a dash of pepper and paprika.

Steam or boil broccoli and cauliflower for 5 minutes.  Drain/remove from steamer.  Place in baking dish over and around the chicken; I added a bit more salt and garlic powder on top of the vegetables.  Top with the cheese.

Bake at 400 for 20-40 minutes, until cheese is melted and veggies are browning on the edge. 

I added a dollop of sour cream and a generous amount of crumbled bacon, because remember, bacon makes you skinny!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Recipe of the Day: Sausage Egg and Cheese Un-Muffin

One of the simplest ways to lower your daily carb intake is to remove the excess starches.  Bread, for example, is often superfluous.  Sure it serves as a nice platform for food (and I'll admit it, the taste is pretty awesome), but it's usually loaded with sugars and/or high fructose corn syrup and relatively low on nutrients.  (You know that "enriched" flour they use?  They have to enrich it with vitamins because on its own it doesn't have any.  Just starchy carb calories.  Blech.)

I have found, for example, that almost any sandwich can be turned into a salad.  In the mood for a ham sandwich?  Dice that ham and toss it onto greens, layer on the cheese, top with some tomatoes and pour on the  - full fat! - ranch dressing.  All the flavor with virtually no carbs.  Steak salads are even awesomer, in my opinion, especially with provolone cheese and mayonnaise (yes, mayonnaise is a dressing.)  Buffalo chicken, tuna fish, chicken salad - all can be keto friendly salads that satisfy without expanding your waistline.  I can't say I've tried peanut butter and jelly on iceberg, but if you do.....please don't tell me about it.

Breakfast is notorious for carb-y entrees and sides; who hasn't had pancakes with loads of syrup, with hashbrowns and toast on the side? pancreas is weeping just thinking of it.  Not only will those carbs leave you sugar-shocked for the morning, I can guarantee you'll be thinking about snacks by 10am.  So I submit for your consideration a fast-food favorite of mine with a keto twist.

Sausage Egg and Cheese Un-Muffin
2 large eggs
2 slices American cheese (or cheese of your choice)
1/2 lb uncooked mild sausage (or two large prepared sausage patties)

Split the sausage into two halves.  Press and pat into a palm-sized patty.  Fry in frying pan (don't worry about greasing it, the patties will supply their own!) If you can buy prepared sausage patties that are nice and big, cook as directed on the package.

While sausages are browning, melt butter or ghee in separate pan.  Prepare eggs as desired; I like mine over medium, but over easy or scrambled work just as well.  If you do scramble them, try to cook them into a couple of nice clumps, don't chop them up so they're loose.  You'll see why in a couple of steps.

When sausages are nicely browned, top with the cheese.  Don't skimp; go for two slices if you like!  If you're feeling adventurous, you could go for a sharp cheddar or a creamy gouda instead of American (which, admittedly, barely deserves the title of cheese.)  You may want to put a lid on the pan to help it get melty.

Once cheese is melted, remove sausage from the pan and top with the egg. 

That's it!  A hearty keto breakfast that will keep you full for hours.  I tried these on my mom and sister and they were a big hit; the only downside was that no one was hungry for lunch. 

Ketogenic Diet Resource Website

There's a terrific pdf file somewhere on this page.  I have it downloaded from another site, but can't find exactly where it is on this one.  However, this is an excellent resource page for anyone interested in reading up on keto so I'm linking to it:

If anyone finds the pdf, let me know!  It's called "Ketogenic Diets, a Key to Excellent Health" by Ellen Davis.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Ketoid

A friend suggested I share with you all a typical day for me in regards to what I eat.

I've just recently increased my carb count; I've been sticking to 20 grams or less per day, because it seems to be the only way I can keep the weight loss coming.  However, I am almost to my goal weight (only 5lbs to go, yeah baby!) and have been feeling rather tired and run down lately.  I did a little self-examination and realized that I've only been taking in 600-800 calories per day - and that's with eating every time I'm hungry, and not stopping till I'm full!  So in respect for the message my body was obviously trying to convey, I've upped my milk intake and feel much better.  This post includes my day with the higher amount of milk.

This tends to vary greatly day to day based on whether or not I'm going to work.  Often it's just a small glass of milk and a couple slices of bacon.
 The bacon is very important, because the fat keeps me from getting hungry halfway through the morning.  If I'm home for the day, scrambled eggs with lots of cheese often goes with the bacon.

I do take some supplements: a multivitamin, potassium and magnesium when I get muscle cramps, and 1-2 tablets of fermented cod liver oil tablets every day.  I have chronically low Vitamin D, even with how much sun I get every week, so I usually take 2.  Additionally, I take 2-3 fiber pills; I have trouble with irritable bowel syndrome, and they help keep my tummy happy.  And no, they don't act as a laxative as long as I don't drink the whole glass of water the bottle recommends.

When I eat depends on how much I ate for breakfast.  Often, I'm not hungry again till 1 or 2pm.  If I'm at work, lunch may be some sliced turkey meat wrapped in a slice of provolone and dipped in mustard.  Peanut butter bread slathered in fresh butter makes an excellent side along, with another glass of milk.  Also, I try to drink 1.5L of water per day; it's good for your kidneys, and makes me feel great.  When you're in keto, water is very important.

It's entirely likely that my dinner will consist of a glass of milk and nothing more.  By this time of day, I usually still feel pretty full and don't want to bother with dinner.  However, since I'm trying to increase my calories for the day some, steak and eggs make a simply awesome dinner.  Or pork chops; they go just as well with eggs, maybe even better than the steak!  A nice green salad or some steamed broccoli dipped in garlic-parmesan butter makes for a good side.

That's a pretty typical day for me!  I fill in with glasses of milk throughout the day when I'm at home and any time I'm feeling munchy.  I keep bacon slices in the freezer as well for a quick snack, or gnaw on a wedge of really sharp cheddar.  Looks like I've gotten a little light on the veggies; I'll have to work on that.

A correlation, maybe?

Sometimes I feel like everything I've ever been taught about healthy eating is completely backwards.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Flour-free Bread. Yes, for real.

This....this is simply one of the coolest recipes I've come across in keto.  Apparently, peanut butter can be made into bread.  Seriously!  I've always known these lovely little legumes were versatile, but bread?

Yes, they make some VERY nice bread.


1 cup peanut butter (natural is best, with as little sugar as possible)
3 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp stevia
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Blend peanut butter and eggs till smooth.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  
  • Pour into greased loaf pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake 30-40 minutes, till toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool before slicing.
Net carbs: 34 grams per LOAF.  Depending on how many slices you make, you're only looking at a few grams of carbs per slice.

I love to top these with LOTS of fresh butter; the bread is rather "dry" in texture, and the butter kind of mellows things.  More sweetener makes it more of a dessert type bread, but you need to add 1 gram of carbs for each tsp sweetener.  Less sweet, it doubles as a sandwich bread nicely.

Sweets for the Sweet: Low Carb Cheesecake Cupcakes

Low carb lifestyles are terrific, but some days you just gotta have something to tickle your sweet tooth.  These are absurdly tasty, filling, and only 1 gram of carbs per cupcake.  And yes, that means I've eaten 2 or 3 at a time.  Why not - they're guilt free!

I need to put a quick caveat in here: I am NOT a big fan of artificial sweeteners.  Sucralose (Splenda) in particular makes me leery; when a bit of sweetness is needed I will usually reach for stevia.  However, sucralose manages to retain a lot of the cooking properties of table sugar while losing the carbs, so for some recipes I cannot yet see away around it.  If I get this recipe tweaked away from using sucralose, I will post an update.

Also, pictures.  I really need to start posting pictures.

1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup almond meal
2 - 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup splenda
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a standard muffin pan with paper liners.

Melt butter.  Stir in almond meal.  Place small amount in each cupcake liner, pat to form crusts.  Set aside.

Combine cream cheese, eggs, splenda and vanilla in a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer on med speed till smooth. 

Fill cupcake liners almost to the top.

Bake in oven 15-17 minutes.  Cool on counter, then chill in fridge overnight. 
1 gram carbs per cupcake.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How I Found Keto

A while back, a friend of mine asked me to write out my story of finding a healthier lifestyle.  Thankfully, she doesn't mind me borrowing back my tale from her blog!  Thanks, Tammy, for saving me all that typing.

If you haven't fallen asleep by the end of the article, check out the rest of her blog; Tammy sold me my first cows, and was instrumental in me and my family taking the leap to bovines in the first place.  She's been a blogger a lot longer than me, so she's got lots of pics, stories, and some recipes too.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cholesterol: Friend or Foe?

A common objection to low-carb diets is the argument of cholesterol.  That long-denigrated denizen of molecules invokes the image of tiny, malicious, fatty foes, lurking in our veins, waiting for any opportunity to clog our precious arteries.  We've all heard that we must avoid eggs, butter, fatty foods, etc to keep this dreaded enemy at bay; and every year the "ideal" numbers creep to ever lower depths while every third commercial reassures us that there are a plethora of friendly little pills standing ready to help us reach those goals.

But really, what exactly is cholesterol? What does it do?  How did it get its terrible reputation, and - most importantly - does lowering it in our bloodstreams actually make us healthier?

Out there on the fringes of the medical world is a small but growing sound of dissention - people are starting to question the unquestionable.  It seems the forgone conclusion linking cholesterol to heart disease isn't quite as forgone as has been advertised; in fact, what we've been taught may be outright wrong. 

I submit for your perusal a series of articles on cholesterol.

Will you be able to verify this information through "acceptable" medical resources?  Probably not.  But when the foxes guard the henhouse, you can't expect straight answers from them.  Read and consider: who really benefits from the cholesterol craze?

Almond Pancakes - Better than the "Real" thing!

The biggest  trouble you'll have with these pancakes is resisting the temptation to drown them in maple syrup.  I like to dust them with powdered stevia, a kind of faux powdered sugar.  But then, I've been off sugar so long that 90% cocoa actually tastes sweet to me.  Only 1 gram of carbs per pancake, not including whatever fruit you choose to add (and assuming you avoid the syrup.)

1 cup almond meal
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbpsp stevia
dash cinnamon

Combine all ingredients, let sit a few minutes to thicken.  Fry on frying pan with butter like regular pancakes.  They won't "bubble" like regular pancakes, so watch them closely.  You can add blueberries or strawberries if desired.

Serve with scrambled eggs and bacon for a nicely balanced keto meal.

Note: I experimented a bit the other day and added a tablespoon of cocoa powder - YUMMY.  These are excellent reheated, so make enough for leftovers to take to work with you.  They are also very filling, so a little bit goes a long way.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sugar is Making us Fat; or, Why I Like Keto

This article provides an excellent overview of the problems in our diet and our conceptions of healthy food that are contributing to making us fatter every year.

Chicks in Blankets

I guess it would be rude to start a recipe blog and then not post a recipe, so here's one of my favorites.  Makes a great snack or finger-food for parties, and no one will ever realize it's healthy!

12 Chicken tenderloins, uncooked
12 slices bacon, uncooked
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut tenderloins and bacon slices in half.  Wrap bacon around each tenderloin, securing with a toothpick.

Place bacon-wrapped chicken bites on a cookie sheet (line with foil for a quick and easy clean up.)  Bake 20-25 minutes or till bacon and chicken are thoroughly cooked.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and dijon mustard till well mixed.  Keep in fridge until ready to use.

Serve chicken warm with dijonnaise dipping sauce.  You might want to double or triple the recipe for parties; these will disappear fast!

  Remember, bacon makes you skinny!

So here I am.....

I guess I'm now officially a blogger!  I'll decide later if I like this or not; for now, the deed is done, and welcome to my blog.

A little background: I'm a 34-year-old woman with a recent and absurdly easy 33-lb weight loss and I wanted an easy way to share with my friends the way I did it.  I've adopted a ketogenic approach: basically, I hard-rebooted my metabolism away from being driven by sugars in their various forms to being driven by fats in their various forms.  When your body remembers it knows how to burn fat as well as build it, then it miraculously dips into that unsightly storage pudge that accumulates over the years - and voila, weight loss magic happens.  I'll go into the finer (and more scientific) details of all this in future posts, but for now we'll keep it simple: bacon makes you skinny.

Yes.  It really does.

So I'll be sharing recipes that focus on a high percentage of healthy fats - animal fats, not the vegetable variety.  Also proteins, because proteins keep your muscles from wasting and helps supply the tiny amount of glucose your body actually needs (really, it needs very little.  Very, very little.)  And then there's the carbs - the tiniest portion of all.  I'm not an advocate of a carb-free lifestyle (though it may seem like it from time to time), mainly because fat and protein lack the all-essential fiber that my gut simply cannot live without. 

These recipes should appeal to the carnivore in all of us (or at least, most of us), and will hopefully encourage all of you to deny the lie that says you're doomed to quietly fatten for the rest of your days.   Hang on, because I'm going to turn everything you think you know about healthy eating on its head.