Breakfast is probably the meal that I find most difficult to deal with, because we usually need something quick and easy in the mornings which don’t require a lot of prep. I’ve made a variation of baked eggs in the past, where you crack the whole egg into the pan with bacon wrapped around the edges (which are delicious, by the way, and I’ll probably do a separate post on those!) but I wanted something that was more like a mini quiche which could even be made the night before and zapped in the microwave. Here’s how we made them:
I’ve given the nutritional info for one, but the girls and I ate two each and it was a pretty perfect portion size for a hearty brunch – we had a Heck 97% pork sausage each, too! Obviously, if you wanted to make a bigger batch you can double the measurements and I think they’d freeze pretty well too, if you were to wrap them in greaseproof paper and store them in a ziplock bag, although I’ve not tried this yet so don’t hold me to it!
We’re having trouble getting our youngest to eat full meals at the moment (she’s a bit of a picker), but she finished her first keto quiche and asked for a second, so I’m calling these a MASSIVE success! You could also experiment with different fillings – ham, chopped asparagus, cherry tomatoes or even feta cheese would all be great. Let me know if you make these or if you use any other combination of fillings.
Living on keto can get a little repeptitive at times and it does feel as though everything I eat is super savoury. I have a few sweet treats that I have on a regular basis like sugar-free jelly, double cream, and the peanut and chocolate fat bombs that make, but sometimes you want a proper dessert. Two things happened recently which really sowed the seed of making this dessert; firstly, I saw a recipe for keto meringues and secondly I realised how low-carb cherries are for fruit – 100g cherries is roughly 12g carbs, which is minimal compared to other fruits. Cherries are my absolute favourite fruit too, which is truly serendipitous! Here’s how I made it:
A low-sugar dessert made with cherry compote, meringue and double cream.
For the MERINGUES
2 egg whites, room temperature
3 tbsp erythritol
¼ tsp vanilla extract
⅛ tsp cream of tartar
⅛ tsp salt
For the COMPOTE
100g cherries, pitted, plus two with stalk on for decoration
100ml double cream
Preheat oven to 250F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Arrange oven racks on second lowest and second highest positions.
In clean glass or metal bowl, combine egg whites, erythritol, vanilla, cream of tartar and salt. Beat on medium high until medium stiff peaks form and mixture becomes somewhat glossy. Do not beat until stiff.
Spoon or pipe mixture into 10 large meringues.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 250F. Then reduce oven temperature to 200F and continue to bake for another 18 to 20 minutes, until crisp and tips are just starting to brown.
Turn off oven and let meringues it inside for 2 hours or longer.
Remove and carefully peel off parchment.
Place your cherries in a blender with 2tbsp water and blend until almost smooth
Pour the blended cherries into a small saucepan with 2tbsp of Truvia and heat on low until the mixture reduces and has an almost jam-like consistency
Place in the fridge to cool
Once your meringues are ready and your compote has cooled, layer them in a sundae glass or bowl by adding one layer of cream, some crumbled meringue and some of the compote.
The whole dish has 9.6g carbs which is really reasonable for something so sweet and tasty! If you hadn’t old me, I wouldn’t have known that this was a low sugar dessert and I’m just waiting for someone to come over for dinner so that I can test it on them to see if they notice. Food like this is good for my soul; eating keto isn’t just a diet plan, it’s a way of life and knowing that I can have desserts like this without it needed to be a cheat meal is just brilliant!
Do let me know if you give this a go, or if you have your own variation on it.
Cauliflower is one of those things which seems to feature a LOT in keto recipes; it’s fairly neutral in flavour and is often used as a low-carb dupe for rice, potato and other stuff. However, there’s only so much cauliflower you can eat before becoming really, really bored of it, so I thought I’d try to make it a bit more flavoursome and interesting. I’ve been craving cauliflower cheese lately but couldn’t think past the fact that a white sauce is usually based on a roux, which is obviously made of flour, and none of the flour substitutes we use (like ground almonds) seemed like they would work.
However, after a bit of a brain-wave yesterday, I decided to go a completely different way about it. The result was cheesy, garlicy and unctuous all in the right measures and Husband even commented that is was the nicest cauliflower cheese he’s ever eaten – HIGH PRAISE! Here’s how you make it:
A flourless caulflower cheese, perfect for a low carb, high fat diet.
A head of cauliflower
200ml double cream
100g cream cheese
250g mature cheddar cheese
2 tsps garlic powder
20g grated parmesan
Cut the cauliflower into florets and par-boil for 10-15 minutes, until it just starts to go soft (there is nothing worse then HARD cauliflower in cauli cheese, if you ask me!)
In a separate bowl, place the double cream, cream cheese, 200g of the cheddar (keeping some back for sprinking on top before baking) and garlic powder and microwave on high for 1 minute, or until melted together. Stir to combine fully.
Drain the cauliflower and allow to cool for a minute (this will allow more moisture to evaporate away and stop you from ending up with a watery sauce at the end)
Place the cauliflower in an even layer in a 9"x9" Pyrex dish and pour the cheese mixture over evenly
Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and the parmesan over the top
Bake at 180° for 25 minutes and the finish under a hot grill for a minute or two to get a really browned-off finish
Be aware before you eat this; it’s pretty high calorie thanks to the cream and all of the cheese, but it’s well worth it and fits a keto diet pretty perfectly. We ate ours with slow cooked lamb and veg, but this would also be amazing with pork chops. Obviously if you wanted it to be lower calorie, you could eat a smaller portion but it’s very moreish so that’s easier said than done!
Let me know if you give this a go – it’s definitely going to be a regular side-dish to our meals.
Something I’ve found since I started eating keto is that I seem to do better with a “little and often” approach, rather than trying to plan three main meals a day. Combine this with the fact that I often get hungry in the evenings AND I crave snacky, crunchy food, I’m often on an “AVOID CRISPS/TOAST/CHIPS!” wavelength when finding something to eat.
Sometimes, though, the simplest snacks are the tastiest and getting creative with what’s in the fridge can really help. Last night, I was having a major Jones for something salty and crunchy and as much as a 25g portion of peanuts is nice, the carb levels are too high to properly indulge.
This snack satisfies the need for something salty, spicy, flavourful and with a definite CRUNCH which makes it absolutely perfect for me and it couldn’t be simpler to make:
I can’t even tell you how tasty these were so I’m hoping the photo does a good job of showing you! They’re 45 calories PER crisps, so really not a low calorie snack (especially as they’re so moreish and one definitely won’t be enough) but at less than half a gram of carbs per crisp, they’re pretty much the perfect keto snack! My husband commented that they’d also be good dipped in salsa but I have no idea how carby salsa would be so don’t take my word for it!
Let me know if you try these or come up with any variations of what to top them with.
Most days, I have no problems meeting my macros and by the end of the day, I’ve had all the fat I need. However, there are some days when I’ve got some calories left (I’m currently calories counting because I’ve still got at least 2.5st to lose) but I need to meet my fat macros efficiently and that is when something like these peanut and chocolate fat bombs would be a really good option. Husband obviously consumes far more calories than me in a day because he’s trying to gain muscle and there are days when he really struggles to eat enough, especially when he’s feeling sick of eggs or meat and these would also be useful for those times. If I’m honest, I just have a sweet tooth and having something ket-friendly on hand is what stops me from eating Nutella straight from the jar! These are NOT a low-calorie option, however.
The best thing about these is that they only have 5 ingredients and are SUPER easy to make. Here’s what you need and how you make them:
Yes, you read that right, 158 calories per small square! As I said, they aren’t low-cal, but they ARE delicious and really useful for followers of keto. I’d be really surprised if you could manage more than one of these because they are SO rich, but Husband and I both agreed that they’d actually be really nice eaten as a mini-dessert with some heavy cream or a cup of strong, black coffee.
As ever, I’d love to know what you think of these if you make them for yourself so do come back and leave me a comment.
One thing that I thought I’d probably only get to enjoy on cheat days was pizza. Sure, meat and cheese are keto staples. Dough? Not so much! However, leave it to the clever people of the internet to find a way to make a pizza base without using ANY grain whatsoever. I found the basis of this recipe on Pinterest and decided that we needed to use it to make our favourite pizza – Texas BBQ.
At first, I was really skeptical of making a pizza base out of cheese, after all, using baked cheese as a basis for a topping of cheese just sounded ridiculous! However, and I cannot overstate this enough – THIS DOUGH IS AMAZING!
Husband and I both commented that if we were fed this without knowing that is was essentially a fake dough, neither of us would have known, we’d have just thought it was a really thin-based home-made pizza. Combined with the Texas BBQ toppings, it was a revelation! Here’s how we made it:
Shredded chicken (roughly 1 small breast, roasted, was enough)
Line your banking tray with greaseproof paper
Place the mozzarella and cream cheese and microwave in one minute increments until completely melted together
Stir the almond flour, followed by the egg, into the melted cheese mixture
Place the mixture in the middle of the greaseproof-lined tray and spread outwards with the back of a large spoon - the mixture will be very stretchy but will flatten out it you work it for a few seconds.
Sprinkle pizza seasoning over your dough and poke it all over with a fork - this will stop it from bubbling up too much
Bake at 220C for 12 minutes, checking half way through and poking any bubbled areas with a fork
While your dough is baking, prep your toppings and fry off your streaky bacon
Once the bacon is cooked, cut it into 1cm squares
Take the dough out of the oven and spread with approx. 2tbsps of barbecue sauce
Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the sauce, leaving a 1cm border around the edge of the dough
Place the rest of the toppings evenly over the top of the pizza
Bake for a further 5 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted
We actually doubled up and made two pizzas and had half a pizza each, which was by NO means a low calorie meal, and it gave up almost a full days worth of carbs in one meal, HOWEVER, it was still fewer carbs for half a huge pizza than it would be for one slice of one from a takeaway, which I call a win. This was such a tasty dupe for a meal we enjoy as a family and it’s just another thing that we don’t ave to completely sacrifice in order to eat a keto diet.
A small note about barbecue sauces – here in the UK, it still seems to be really tricky to find low sugar versions of anything. I know there’s a sugar free brand of barbecue sauce that’s popular in the States which can be bought via Amazon, but at £25-ish a bottle, it’s just not worth paying that. I tend to spend almost double the time food shopping when I’m devising a recipe because I’ll read every single label before I buy things, so the best thing I can advise you to do is to just find the barbecue sauce with the lowest carb value in the shops you already go to.
Hunting in specialist shops is just going to make your life more difficult, make cooking this way less sustainable and could ultimately just be off-putting. This Bart’s one was 23.3g carbs per 100g, which would be pretty high on any other day, but given the fact that we only used a couple of tablespoons as a base, it didn’t work out too badly. Also, do be aware that many sauces aren’t gluten-free so if you’re using this recipe on that basis, make sure you check first.
This dough can also be used as a basis for a bunch of other things such as quiche, or even baked and chopped up like nachos which would really serve to satiate a craving if you’re missing crisps or nachos and need a snack.
What’s your favourite pizza topping? Let me know if you recreate this as I’d love to know what you thought!
When you think of a low-carb, ketogenic eating plan you could be forgiven for thinking that bread rolls would be totally off the menu, but it is possible with a little bit of creative ingredient work and trial and error to have a really functional, low-carb bread substitute which fits your macros. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s also gluten-free which makes it suitable for a range of dietary requirements. It works so well because it’s really neutral and can be customised in a number of ways.
When you start mixing, the dough might look a bit too “wet” and it’s tempting to add more of this and that to make it firm up, but persevere with the mixing and it usually comes together. The dough is a little wetter than traditional bread dough, so don’t panic if you get a “dollop” of dough on the tray rather than a more cohesive blob!
One of my favourite things about this recipe is that you can change it up to whatever you need – make the rolls long for hotdogs, sub out the sesame seeds and add poppy seeds or sea salt, add a little cheese on top halfway through baking – the possibilities are endless! I’m also planning to try to see if there’s a way I can add some sweetness and make it more like a bun, but that’s a post for another day!
We had ours with beef burgers and they were such a good substitute for a normal burger bun. We’re also planning to use them in lunchboxes next week, so I’ll be making a batch and seeing how they freeze for longer-term use. Do let me know if you give this a try, I’d love to hear what you think.
When you’ve been on keto for a while, you often find that you have cravings for sweet food, or simply get sick of all of the savoury stuff you’ve been eating, and on really bad days even a sugar-free jelly just doesn’t cut the mustard. I also find that, apologies for the TMI, certain times of the month make the sugar cravings worse, and finding something on-plan that I can eat which will allow me to keep my head in the game is really important. I’ve seen a few different dessert options around the internet but one thing I’ve been wanting to try for ages is tiramisu. My husband doesn’t have anything caffeinated, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try a keto, de-caff tiramisu, but I promise it was nowhere near as boring as it sounds! It’s also completely grain and gluten free, which makes it ideal if you have other dietary restrictions. Here’s the recipe:
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this tiramisu, especially with the “cake” part because of the complete lack of flour or substitute grains, but it was genuinely delicious. I tried a bit of the cakey part while I was building and I’d be happy to eat it all by itself! Husband tried it and loved it too – it’s been years since he’s been able to eat tiramisu because all of the others contain caffeinated coffee, so his standards may have been lowered, but he went back for seconds AND had some on day 2, as well which is a pretty decent endorsement.
The whole thing does take a fair amount of prep and separate periods of baking and mixing, so it’s not something that can be whipped together really quickly but I would happily make this for a planned meal if we were having people over and I think it would be passable with non-keto eaters too. Husband and I both said we could barely tell the difference!
For me, being successful at staying on keto has been about willingness to try new things and experiment in the kitchen and this is one experiment that I’m not only thrilled to have done but also one that I’ll definitely be repeating in the future.
When you eat a keto diet, it’s really common to feel get totally sick of only eating savoury foods. There are, of course, a few sweet things that you can have (like the 10-cal jellies I mentioned in this post) but largely low carb means sugar free and therefore not very sweet! Sometimes, I just need something sweet to shove into my face but I need to be able to do this without taking masses of extra calories and without going totally off plan, which forces me to be a little more inventive with what I eat. Necessity (and a sweet tooth) being the mother of invention, and all that. This is what led me to try making a low-carb, keto-friendly chocolate pudding, using the stuff I had in the house. Here’s what I used:
It does’t even warrant a full recipe! All you need to do is measure 100g of Greek yogurt (I use the full fat one because it’s lower in carbs and FAT ISN’T BAD! Also, make sure you get PROPER Greek yogurt because there are loads of ‘fake’ ones which don’t really have the added benefits that proper Greek yogurt has. Fage is a good brand if you can find it), 5g of cocoa powder (usually a heaped teaspoon but you can weigh it if you want to be super accurate) and 1 tbsp of erythritol. Give it a really good mix up, making sure you don’t have any lumps of powder hiding anywhere and then bung it back in the fridge for ten minutes. If you eat it right away the erythritol can be a little bit grainy, but leaving it for a little while helps it to sort of melt in. Obviously, you could use liquid or powdered sweetener if you have it in the house.
And you know what? It was really decent! Obviously it’s not going to be like a proper chocolate pudding, but it’s a damn decent substitute which satisfied my hankering and allowed me to stay on plan. In terms of nutrition, here’s the final count:
5.4g carbs, 6.1g fat and 10,1 grams of protein for just 119 calories! An excellent balance of macros and a tasty way to get some additional fat and protein. I find Greek yogurt really filling and I had this for brunch with a handful of peanuts, which left me feeling satisfied until dinner. If you’re also dairy-free, you could try making this with the coconut yogurt substitutes I’ve seen (although I can’t vouch for the carb count in those as I’ve never had them). Let me know if you give this a try or if you have any of your own variations.
One of the things I’ve missed since going keto is a warming bowl of chilli, but with a bit of experimentation I’ve managed to combine two of my loves – keto and slow cooking! Obviously it’s sans-beans because they’re all just too high in carbs but with the celery and tomatoes, it didn’t really feel like it was lacking too much. This recipe serves 8 people, can be frozen for eating at a later date, and one portion is 10.7g carbs, 11.2g fat, 35.4g protein and just 288 calories, making it the perfect keto dinner.
We served ours with Bare Naked “rice”, a konjac-based rice substitute which comes in a sachet and can be microwaved just like normal rice, except a serving is just 0.1g carbs and only ten calories!
Next time I would also perhaps add some chopped pickled jalapenos to give it a bit more bite, but it was still really tasty exactly as it was. Let me know if you give this a go, or if you have your own variation of this dish that we could try!