Category: Health

Pantry

Tom’s Keto Pantry

The keto lifestyle calls for some pantry staples not found in kitchens operating on SAD (standard American diet). Here’s my keto pantry inventory. many items are on this Amazon list or this Walmart list.

Dry Goods

Almond Flour
Whole Psyllium Husks
Golden Flax Meal
Coconut Flour
Psyllium Husk Powder
Xanthan Gum
Cream of Tartar

Sweeteners

Lakanto Classic
Lakanto Golden
Lakanto or Swerve Powdered
Lakanto Monkfruit Drops
Allulose

Seasonings

Himalayan Sea Salt
Nutritional Yeast
Southwest/Taco Seasoning
Ranch Seasoning

Oils

MCT Oil
Avocado Oil
Coconut Oil

Chocolate

Bake Believe Dark or SS Chips
Bake Believe Dark Baking BarCacao or Cocoa Powder
Lily’s Dark or SS Chips
Lily’s Dark Baking Bar

Supplements

LMNT Electrolytes

Dairy & Produce

Eggs – Cage Free
Almond Milk – Unsweetened
Heavy Cream
Butter – Grass Fed
Sour Cream
Cream Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Cheddar/Jack Cheese

Avocados
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Romaine Lettuce
Red Onions
White Onions
Bell Peppers

Meat

Bacon
Grass Fed Ground Beef (85/15)
Grass Fed Steak
Free Range Chicken Thighs/Drums/Wings

Canned Chicken Breast
Salmon
Tuna


Keto Fathead Chicken Fries

Fathead Chicken Fries

It seems there are a gazillion ideas/recipes/options/opinions on keto-friendly french fries. Substituting for potatoes isn’t (or is) an issue, it seems 🙂

So how about this: I’m checking my YouTube feed and I see a video from a popular keto channel†, announcing the next great keto pizza crust: The Chicken Crust!

I think to myself, “that sounds pretty good.” Then I remember how infrequently I make pizza, and I file it in my deep memory. I couple days later I see the video in my feed again and I have a keto epiphany… I could make this recipe and shape it into fries rather than crusts: Chicken Fries!!!

Full disclosure: I actually did not use the inspirational crust recipe. I went to my standby Fat Head recipe for the basis: mozzarella, cream cheese & spices, no flour or egg, add chicken. Here’s my riff.

Ingredient List

  • 25 oz chicken breast meat* crumbled
  • 1 tsp each onion powder & garlic powder
  • 8 oz Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 2 oz Cream cheese

Preparation

  1. Drain canned chicken. Crumble and mix in seasonings. Set aside.
  2. Melt cheeses together in microwave, stirring every 30-60 seconds.
  3. Add chicken mix to cheese mix. Mix well, then knead to well distribute chicken.
  4. Press or roll into a rough rectangle, no less than 1/4″ thickness, place dough on lined baking sheet
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, remove from oven and carefully flip onto a cutting board. Score into french fry shapes with pizza cutter. Move back onto lined baking sheet and bake another 10-12 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and break up the fries. Bake loose fries another 5 minutes, if desired.
  7. Serve with dipping sauce, perhaps sour cream mixed with salsa verde for example.

* I use Members Mark natural chicken breast in water from Sam’s Club, 2 12.5 oz cans.

† Keto Connect, No Carb Pizza Crust!

Keto Cheddar Biscuits

Keto Cheddar Biscuits

These are great with any meal, and simple to mix and bake.

Ingredient List

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

TOPPING

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the softened cream cheese & cheddar cheese. Whisk eggs and mix into cheeses. Mix until cream cheese is smooth with no clumps.
  3. Thoroughly mix in the heavy cream and melted butter.
  4. Add almond flour, baking powder & salt.
  5. Stir until combined. Do not overmix or biscuits will be tough.
  6. Chill the dough 10-15 minutes.
  7. Using a small cookie or ice cream scoop spoon the biscuits out onto a greased or lined baking sheet.
  8. Lightly flatten each biscuit.
  9. Bake 13-15 minutes until golden, rotating pans 1/2 way through.
  10. Brush melted butter onto biscuits. Mix garlic powder & nutritional yeast together, sprinkle over the biscuit

Nutrition (based on 12 biscuits):
SERVING SIZE: 1 biscuit; CALORIES: 122 TOTAL FAT: 7.8g Net Carbs: 2.3g PROTEIN: 3.5g

Keto Sesame Rolls

Keto Sesame Rolls

These simple mix & bake raised rolls are very tasty. They are now my go-to, replacing the fat-head breads, except for pizza crusts.

They puff up quite a bit, thanks to the vinegar, so shape them flatter than you think. Also, the inside is a bit moist right out of the oven, so cool completely before consuming.

Ingredient List

  • 140g Almond Flour
  • 50g Whole Psyllium Husks
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together. Mix in vinegar & egg whites with spatula. Mix in hot water in 3 additions. Use spatula to fold/knead dough until well mixed. Divide into 12 equal portions and shape as desired (these will rise!)
  3. Brush rolls with egg white or melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  4. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool completely before serving (interior of rolls will finish cooking as they cool).

Nutrition (calculated in Carb Manager app, based on 12 rolls):
Per roll: 104 calories, 1g net carbs, 5g fiber, 7g fat, 4g protein, 0 glycemic load. 

Keto Soft Pretzel

Keto Soft Pretzel

Holiday season 2019. Something triggers a craving for a soft pretzel. Maybe it’s that Annie Anne’s in the Walmart, which is not an option for a keto/grain-free lifestyle. Google! Find me a recipe!

I found several, and what I’m sharing here is an adaptation of a couple of those. It’s pretty easy, and quite tasty – satisfies the craving, for sure 🙂 And they make a great bun for a burger or egg sandwich.

BTW, you can top these with coarse salt, or cheese. I like nutritional yeast, which has special powers – check Dr Berg’s video to learn more.

Also, I use a ‘flax egg’ in place of chicken eggs, so I can share these with my daughter who has an egg yolk allergy. Traditionally, flax egg is 1 Tbsp flax meal + 1 Tbsp water, mixed and allowed to bloom for 10 minutes. I use egg whites rather than water, for the added protein. Whole eggs would be more keto, of course, with the added fat.

Ingredient List

  • 1 packet Active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup Warm Water (105°)
  • 1/2 tsp pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tbsp GF baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan gum (optional, for more chewy pretzels)
  • 2 eggs (Flax Eggs work if you’re allergic)
  • 3 cups Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 2 oz Cream cheese

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the warm water and maple syrup. Stir in the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine almond flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and eggs in food processor. When the yeast is done proofing and has increased in volume to 1/2 cup, add it to the food processor and pulse until uniform.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded mozzarella and cream cheese. Heat in the microwave, 30-60 seconds at a time, until melted. Stir until smooth and uniform.
  5. Add the cheeses to the food processor and process until a uniform dough forms, scraping the sides with a spatula if necessary.
  6. Chill the dough in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, until it’s not too sticky to work with.
  7. Using oiled hands, form a ball with the dough. Cut it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each section into a long, skinny log, about 9 inches long. Twist into a pretzel by taking one end of the pretzel and looping it around and down across the bottom, then repeat with the other end, crossing over the first one. Place onto the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough sections.
  8. Sprinkle coarse sea salt and nutritional yeast (or Parmesan cheese) over the pretzels and press down lightly.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.
  10. Drizzle melted butter over pretzels while hot

Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Keto Basque Burnt Cheesecake

My Keto version of the ‘Burnt Cheesecake’ is adapted from Molly Baz’ version at Bon Appetit (see video: here). It is delicious served plain, or with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a bit of blueberry compote.

The macros for this veto version are 5g net carbs, 33g fat & 9g protein. 5 net carbs make this cake a special occasion indulgence, especially if topped with the blueberry compote, and it’s not appropriate if you are in serious weight-loss mode at under 25 net carbs per day.

Molly’s introduction to her recipe: This cheesecake is the alter ego to the classic New York–style cheesecake with a press-in cookie crust. Inspired by a Basque version, this is the cheesecake that wants to get burnt, cracked, and cooked at high heat. Which also means this is the cheesecake that’s impossible to mess up.

Tom’s Keto Ingredient List

2 lb. cream cheese, room temperature
200g monk fruit sweetener
6 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. himalayan salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
30g almond flour
14g coconut flour 

Equipment
10″-diameter springform pan
Parchment Paper

Preparation

Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 400°. Butter pan, then line with 2 overlapping 16×12″ sheets of parchment, making sure parchment comes at least 2″ above top of pan on all sides. Because the parchment needs to be pleated and creased in some areas to fit in pan, you won’t end up with a clean, smooth outer edge to the cake; that’s okay! Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

Beat cream cheese and sweetener in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed, scraping down sides of bowl, until very smooth, no lumps remain, about 2 minutes.

Increase speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating each egg 15 seconds before adding the next. Scrape down sides of bowl, then reduce mixer speed to medium-low. Add cream, salt, and vanilla and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.

Turn off mixer and sift flours evenly over cream cheese mixture. Beat on low speed until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl (yet again) and continue to beat until batter is very smooth, homogenous, and silky, about 10 seconds.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cheesecake until deeply golden brown on top and still very jiggly in thecenter, 60–65 minutes.

Let cool slightly (it will fall dramatically as it cools), then unmold. Let cool completely. Carefully peel away parchment from sides of cheesecake. Slice into wedges and serve at room temperature.

Do Ahead: Cheesecake may be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Be sure to let cheesecake sit for several hours at room temperature to remove chill before serving.

Blueberry Compote

2 cups frozen organic blueberries
100g monk fruit sweetener
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp tapioca starch

Combine blueberries, sweetener & lemon juice in saucepan. Heat to low boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes before adding tapioca starch. Mix tapioca starch in well and continue to cook until slightly thickened. Cool & store in refrigerator.
16 servings (1.5 Tbsp) at 2 net carbs, 0 fat, 0 protein.

ACV Links

Why Apple Cider Vinegar?

In support of my intermittent fasting regimen, I’m drinking a daily morning cocktail of 3 oz. water, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (ACV), juice of 1/2 lemon or one lime, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and a dash of pink sea salt. This concoction keeps early hunger pangs at bay, and it provides minerals needed throughout the day. Here are some video links that helped me to know the benefits of ACV.

The Cocktail – Thomas DeLauer details the benefits

Dr Berg on ACV for Weight Loss

9 Benefits of ACV – Dr Berg

ACV for Belly Fat Loss – Dr Berg

ACV Every Morning

10 Restaurants

10: Restaurants

Where & What to Eat, Away From Home – a list in progress


1. Five Guys

Burger in a bowl. Nah – call it Bacon Cheeseburger Salad 🙂 Get the app for your phone!! Here’s my order (the app doesn’t offer extra bacon, ask for it at the counter, they’ll add it for FREE 🙂

2. Chipotle

Meat. Sure, you can do a “burrito bowl”, skip the rice, beans, etc. The thing is, they will serve 4 or 6 ounce “sides” of their meats without any of the add-ins. I order 6 ounces of chicken and 4 ounces of carnitas or steak, with a side of sour cream and sometimes some guacamole. Filling, and very low-carb 🙂

9 Resources

8 Recipes

8: Recipes

My favorite YouTube channels for Keto-friendly recipes:

Recipes I Make Often:

FatHead Dough

This may be the key food that launched my success in this journey. In the past my brain has always refuted any notion of life with out bread. What if bread was made of cheese, rather than those inflammatory processed flours, though?

This is a link for the basic recipe & process I follow, with some modifications, for FatHead products: Carl’s Fat Head Pizza. For pizza crust I use garlic powder rather than garlic salt, substitute flaxseed meal for 1/4 of the almond flour, and add some dried herbs like oregano & basil. (Note, Carl is not a relative, as far as I know 🙂

Here’s my Fathead Pizza Crust Video: Video Link

Sesame Seed Buns

I have never gotten into the idea of the ‘lettuce bun’. I know you can order a burger and many shoppes will serve it between 2 lettuce leaves, just why? (I do like a legit ‘lettuce wrap’, like those at PFChangs).

140g Almond Flour
50g Psyllium Husk powder
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt

2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
240g hot water (1c)
3 egg whites (90g)

2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds

Preheat oven to 350°
Whisk dry ingredients together. Mix in vinegar & egg whites with spatula. Mix in hot water in 3 additions. Use spatula to fold/knead dough until well mixed.
Divide into 8 equal portions and shape as desired (these will rise!) Brush rolls with egg white or melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool completely before serving (interior of rolls will finish cooking as they cool).

(see additional bread-ish recipes over in the left sidebar)

Simple Guacamole

I eat fresh guacamole almost daily. As a side dip with some FatHead Chips or on a burger or chicken breast. Here’s how simple it can be (I do sometimes scratch up the ‘salsa’ myself): find a flavorful fresh-made-in-store salsa in the produce section of your market. Mash 1 ripe avocado in a bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons of that fresh salsa. I like to add some pink himalayan salt. Give it a good mix. Dig in. With these chips:

CopyCat Cheeze-its (coming soon)

I’m avoiding a lot of things that are found in store-bought chips & crackers…

Cheese Chips/Crackers

My new favorite snacky is almost too easy. I buy deli-sliced Gouda, cut each of those slices into 2 triangles (chips) or 4 squares (crackers), sprinkle with paprika (or cumin), lay them out on parchment-lined baking trays and put them in a 200° oven for 25 minutes. Then raise them oven to 375° for 10-12 minutes for browning (keep watch!). The original recipe (see video link following) says they’re done, I find they crisp up more if you turn the oven off and leave them in a while. I also, sometimes, like to place a pickled jalapeño slice on each softened cracker before cranking the heat up. Or use pepper jack cheese…

Video link

Bacon

The experts I follow endorse bacon. I like that. I like to pre-cook bacon so it’s ready to use. I prefer Alton Brown‘s method for doing a pound or more at once. If I just need a couple slices I’ll microwave them between a few paper towels on about 50% power until they reach desired doneness destination (lower power lets the rashers ‘render’ rather than toast, imho).

AB’s Oven Bacon Method: Place the strips of bacon onto a sheet pan fitted with a rack and place into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400º and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Remove from rack and drain on paper towels. Enjoy.

Cheesecake

Basque Burnt Cheesecake, to be exact. Too easy! No crust, no water bath, no watchful eye. Simply cream up the cream cheese & sweetener, add the eggs 1×1, mix in the liquids, then the dry ingredients. Pour into a baking pan well-lined (2x) with parchment paper. Bake at 400° for 60 minutes. Cool completely. Serve at room temperature. Check the video below to better grasp the simplicity (and pan prep).

My Keto-friendly ingredient list: 2 lb. cream cheese (room temperature); 1 cup monk fruit sweetener; 6 large eggs; 2 cups heavy cream; 1 tsp. kosher salt; 1 tsp. vanilla extract; 1/4 cup almond flour; 2 Tbsp coconut flour

Video Link

The Spinach Milkshake


Drink 4 cups of spinach in 60 seconds, and love it, like Popeye!

Place 16oz of organic spinach + 4 cups water into the blender.
Blend for 60 seconds. Add berry-flavored stevia to taste. Blend.
Transfer to 4 1-pint freezer cups. Freeze until ready to serve.
To serve: thaw 1 pint to slushiness. Pour into shaker bottle. Add 2 Tbsp heavy cream & shake until frothy. Drink down your spinach. >


NOTES:

Macros: I have not included any macronutrient info here. I do recommend you enter the recipes in your tracking app (I use Carb Manager) and the app will calculate the macros as you track your consumption.

* baking powder: I recommend using aluminum-free, gluten-free baking powder. I make my own: equal amounts by weight: baking soda (25g) + cup cream of tartar (25g) + cup tapioca starch/flour (25g)