Tag Archives: Keto

Bread, glorious bread

A tough topic for a Keto fan. What do I do about bread made from wheat flour—with all those carbs? Bread in all its forms is so basic, so universal, so loved. And the bread we know best is made from wheat flour. High in carbs and protein. The must-have food for probably every culture throughout history. Leavened or unleavened. Flat or raised. Three ingredients or many. But if you eat the typical American diet, you’re eating way too many carbs and carrying way too much weight. Ketoistas are going to have to do without the bread we love or find a palatable substitute for wheat-flour bread. What to do? Let’s start here with some background and a global perspective. Here’s a bread primer from The New Yorker:

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Chaffles (aka Keto waffles)

Chaffles are double good. They’re a way for Keto dieters like me, who can’t get used to almond flour, to use it anyway. And, they let Keto-ites have something other than bacon and eggs for breakfast. No small thing.

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Bacon

Bacon—the almost perfect meat—if you eat pork, of course. Delicious and versatile. I’ve always loved bacon, but appreciate it much more now because 1) it’s a Keto staple and 2) I’ve finally discovered the best bacon to buy and the best way to cook it.

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Pumpkin custard

We’re always looking for Keto desserts. Well, we’re always looking for desserts, and when you’re on Keto—you get it.

Make this to welcome fall into your kitchen; I normally only buy pumpkin between October and December. How about you?

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Keto Pumpkin Custard

A Keto dessert winner from DietDoctor.com.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: custard, Keto, pumpkin
Servings: 6 Servings
Author: dad

Equipment

  • six ramekins
  • 13×9 aluminum sheet pan. This just needs to be large enough to contain the six ramekins.

Ingredients

  • 15 oz canned pumpkin I get organic pumpkin puree by Libby.
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 2 tspn vanilla
  • 2 tspn pumpkin pie spice or make your own
  • 1 tspn Stevia liquid
  • 1 cup whipped cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Spray six ramekins with cooking spray and set them on the sheet pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix cream, pumpkin, salt, vanilla, spice, and sweetener.
  • Pour pumpkin mixture evenly into ramekins. Clean up any spills and place the pan in the oven.
  • Bake 45 minutes. Check for doneness with toothpick or other favorite method, like a thin knife blade. The mixture should be just barely set. It will firm up after removing from oven.
  • Remove sheet pan from oven. Let custard cool for 10 minutes.
  • Make or use canned whipped cream to top the custards. Serve. You can make these ahead and store in fridge or a day or two, holding off on the whipped cream until ready to serve. If storing, use cellophane wrap to cover custards and avoid them drying out.

Notes

These are great for company meals, easy and acceptable to non-Keto types. We make up a batch and eat over several days when it’s just us. 

The versatile frittata

As you get the hang of home cooking, you get better, or not, at improvisation—making up new recipes or adapting old ones, to your current pantry or today’s whim. I suspect that my grandmother’s claims that she couldn’t pass along her greatest recipes was more about not remembering exactly how to make that Irish stew or knowing that she never made it the same way twice. Lesson learned.

For some, or until you reach home cooking nirvana, executing a precise step-by-step routine is all you care about. And there’s nothing wrong with that! But joy and bliss await when you can cook on the fly—unless you really screw it up. 😉

I really love frittatas because like my chili or soups and stew and casseroles, they are ready, willing, and able to be modified, amplified, adapted, or short-changed as your ingredient supply changes.

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Italian breakfast casserole

Made with fresh tomatoes and basil bought this morning at the farmers’ market, this version of one of our favorites, the breakfast casserole, helps us appreciate paying a little more for locally grown, organic produce.

Breakfast casseroles are really healthy and satisfying. Always a crowd pleaser, like if you’re having a morning-time birthday party or a day-after-the wedding family hangers-on brunch until it’s time for the relatives to get on their way home. The versions with bread are great, but this one and its variants taste just as good and are low-carb.

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Dad’s Italian breakfast casserole

a fresh and lively riff on the eggy breakfast casserole
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Resting time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheese, eggs, Keto, sausage, vegetables
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 653kcal
Author: dad

Equipment

  • 12" skillet
  • 8" x 8" baking dish

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian sausage Use ground or links, sweet or hot to your taste.
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil or 1/4 cup dried. Half for the casserole, half for the garnish.
  • 1/2 tspn dried red pepper flakes use more, less, or none to taste
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz grated cheese cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack — any one or a blend works fine.
  • 1 large fresh tomato slice into half-moons, 8-10 pieces

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Heat the skillet on medium-high, add olive oil and watch until it shimmers.
  • Add sausage and break it up into small bits with a spatula or large spoon. Cook until evenly browned. Turn down the heat if this seems to be happening too fast.
  • Mix in onions and saute for 3-5 minutes, until softened, but not brown.
  • While the onions cook, break eggs into large bowl and whisk in heavy whipping cream until you have a nice, smooth mixture.
  • To the skillet, add garlic, red pepper flakes (if used), and half the basil. Mix in and cook a minute.
  • Lightly butter or grease the baking dish.
  • Add half the meat and veg mixture to the baking dish. Spread evenly.
  • Add half the grated cheese (4 oz) as a layer in the baking dish.
  • Add the rest of the meat-veg and then the rest of the cheese to the dish.
  • Slowly pour the egg-cream blend (eggs and cream like this is what custard is) over the stuff in the baking dish.
  • Top the casserole with the sliced tomatoes and the rest of basil.
  • Into the oven for 35-40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and keep checking until the jiggling just about stops. Remove from oven and place on an empty burner or better, on a cooking rack for 15 minutes. A bit of baking will continue to happen for a while. Then the casserole will cool and become easier to cut.
  • I think cutting into six pieces makes for good-sized servings. I use a spatula with a sharp edge for this.

Nutrition

Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 362mg | Sodium: 884mg | Potassium: 336mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1293IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 344mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Facts
Dad's Italian breakfast casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 653 Calories from Fat 531
% Daily Value*
Fat 59g91%
Saturated Fat 28g175%
Cholesterol 362mg121%
Sodium 884mg38%
Potassium 336mg10%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 1293IU26%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 344mg34%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Keto reboot

Lose 50; gain 15; lose 20; g-o-o-o-a-l!

For me personally, the very best thing about Keto has been acquiring the knowledge and skill to actually manage my weight. Here’s what I mean.

For 30 years or so, since I started being concerned about my weight, I tried this diet and that diet with varying results. Lose 30; gain it back; lose 20; gain it back…etc. Sound familiar? I realize now that the main reason I gained it back was that the diet got boring, or most often, it left me too hungry, too many times. I slipped into the “oh, what can be wrong with just one donut” loop. One donut once a month became two donuts twice a week, then “Oops, how did I manage to gain back all that weight?”

On Keto, however, since fat is filling and Keto recipes are everywhere involving just about everything, except sugar and grains, I don’t suffer the same sense of loss that other diets inevitably bring on. Just one guy’s experience.

But back to management. What I mean is that for the first time, Keto gives me a sense of being in control and under control. Have a carby weekend? Back to Keto on Monday and back to my pre-carby weight. Without the sense of suffering.

Now, over time, bad habits die hard. So, I did gain back 15 pounds over a year, compromising my Keto-ness too often. But now we’re all-in again and enjoying some Keto recipes we haven’t tried before. Down a pound-and-a -half in three days! Watch this space.

Keto forever?

Unlike the other weight-loss programs we’ve tried over the years, “Keto” should be considered a fundamental change in how we choose to eat…forever. Eating Keto is a new way to eat for people who don’t want to be fat anymore, like me. A Keto diet is also, based on my experience, a way to gain other health benefits: reduced inflammation and associated body aches and pains, better cholesterol readings, and lower blood pressure. I’m not saying that changing the way I eat has been easy. And I’ve decided it’s not required that I eat fewer than 20, or 30 or 50 net carbs per day forever. Just that I mostly eat Keto and manage my cravings so that my total food intake is much less than before. After all, for anyone who wants to lose weight, the starting point is eating less.

Here’s one view on why Keto is natural, healthy and safe for a lifetime:

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