Joy-Fueled Keto-Friendly Chicken Broth (Two Methods)

Ever since I was a teen experimenting in my mother’s kitchen, I have loved making homemade soup. Any good cook knows the secret to a good soup lies in its stock. The more flavour you can pack into a chicken broth, the better your soup will be.

If you happen to live near an Asian Market, you are in luck, as they often have stewing hens. These tough old birds make the best stock, but any whole chicken will do. You can also make a pretty good tasting chicken broth from bones alone. Start collecting bones by placing them in an extra-large ziplock bag in your freezer until you have a good amount. If you skin chicken for some reason, add the skin to your bag of bones. Most ketoers prepare their chicken with skin on!

There is nothing wrong with using a higher quality bullion powder or cube when you are in a pinch. I do keep a carton of store-bought chicken broth on hand just in case I don’t have any stock in the fridge. But homemade is so much better, and it freezes well!

Go to the market and find an old hen and make your stock knowing that you know everything that is going into it. Organic is best but to be honest, on my limited income, that’s not a possibility. Old stewing hens are pretty cheap, and they have the most flavour. Simmering them for hours on the stove softens the meat!

Why add vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar softens the bones, allowing all the nutrients to be released.

Keto Friendly Chicken Broth – Stove Top Method:

Use the largest pot you own.
Add
One large onion with the ends cut off. Leave whole. If you add the onion skin (washed well of course) your chicken broth will take on a lovely golden hue.
Three stalks celery, cleaned, whole
Two carrots, scrubbed, whole
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
One stewing hen or a large bag of chicken bones.

Old stewing hens make the best chicken brothCover with cold water
Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.
Simmer for 12 hours – add water if necessary.
Add salt toward the end, if you add salt at the beginning, the salty flavour will disappear.

Make sure to drain the broth over a pot, so you don’t accidentally pour the stock down the drain. I did that once as a teenager!

Discard vegetables, bones, and skin. There will be a trace amount of carbs in your stock but nothing worth counting toward your macros.

Pick through the bones if you used a stewing chicken and save the chicken for chicken salad.

Store in airtight containers in the fridge. You can remove the excess fat the next day if you prefer. If you aren’t going to use the chicken broth within a week, freeze it!

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Method

Follow the above steps, you can boil the water before adding it to your Instant pot to speed the process, but the broth won’t be as clear.
Make sure you don’t over-fill the pot! You might not get as much quantity as the stove top method, but you will have an intense broth!
Pressure cook on high for three hours.
Instant Pot users, you’ll have to reset the timer to add the extra time as the timer doesn’t go up to 3 hours on the pressure setting.
Quick release, add salt to taste, stir well, then drain the chicken over a pot. Discard vegetables, skin, and bones. If you used a whole chicken, use the meat for chicken salads.

Store in airtight containers in the fridge. You can remove the excess fat the next day if you prefer. If you aren’t going to use the chicken broth within a week, freeze it!

©2017 Katherine Walden

Pulled Pork – Instant Pot – Low Carb, Keto Style

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Pulled Pork Low Carb Keto Paleo

I love my new Instant Pot! I love it so much that I use it just about every day and it is usually sitting on my kitchen table. I live in a smaller space, and it’s just easier to meal prep on the table. I also love pork roast; when it is well prepared, it is fall-apart tender. Pulled pork is a favourite!

I bought a pork shoulder on sale a few weeks ago, and I was trying to figure out what to do with it. Trotting over to Google, I found a tonne of delicious pulled pork recipes, all of which were swimming in sugary carbs and served on a tasteless mound of empty carbs -sometimes known as a bun.

I knew there had to be a way to do this Keto style and this is what I came up with!

Recipe for Instant Pot Pulled Pork

(Slow Cooker Instructions at the very bottom of the page)

Ingredients:
3-4 lb pork shoulder (pork butt)
1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 cup organic beef broth
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp chopped ginger or ginger paste
2 tbsp low-carb bbq dry rub or spice mix
salt, fresh cracked pepper

Directions:
Rub the pork shoulder with all the spices mentioned above. Don’t be gentle. Rub those spices in!
Use a lot of salt and pepper.
Place in a ziplock bag or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap, let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two or overnight.

Turn Instant Pot on to Saute.
Once the Instant Pot says ‘HOT,’ add oil.
When the oil is hot (less than 30 seconds) add Pork Shoulder.

Brown every surface.
TIP: Be patient at this point, you are building valuable flavour. Turn the meat, and let it sizzle for 2-3 minutes without touching it. Then turn it again. Repeat until every side of the pork shoulder has hit the bottom of the pot.

Remove meat, remove some of the excess oil unless you are looking for a way to add more fat to your diet. If you decide to drain the oil by pouring it into a cup, use gloves or instant pot silicone mitts -the inner liner will be scalding.

Allow pot to return to ‘Hot’ Saute.

Add Broth
TIP: I always heat my broth before adding it to the pot. It shortens the time it takes the pot to go to full pressure.
Use a hard nylon spatula and scrape up all the brown bits up. These are flavour gold!
Make sure every bit of the marinade lands in the pot as well.
Return meat to Pot.

Put the lid on your Instant Pot and don’t forget to turn the valve to seal.
Set Manual – 95 minutes
Natural Release 10 minutes then Quick Release

Place pork on a platter, cover tightly with foil
Pour the juices into a bowl and set the bowl in your fridge. After the liquids are cold, remove the excess fat. There is more than enough fat in the pork, don’t worry you keto fans.

To shred: Use two forks, one holds the meat, the other tears it into shreds by pulling it. Hence the name, Pulled Pork.

Low Carb Ideas for Serving:
1. Smother in Walden Farms (no relation to me!) BBQ Sauce or any other Low-Carb BBQ sauce. If you aren’t lazy like me, make your own sauce, see the recipe at the bottom of the page. Serve in lettuce wraps.
2. Place Pulled Pork back into heated reserved juices, serve over steamed cabbage. I have a recipe for Instant Pot Steamed Cabbage on this site, just skip the corned beef in that recipe, obviously.

OR

My Asian Spin.

Baby Bok Choy and Pulled Pork – Stove Top Method

4 cups liquid.
I use the juices reserved from the pulled pork, and add organic beef broth if necessary.
300g Pulled Pork
200 g Baby Bok Choy
1 tsp unsweetened soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
Asian Hot Sauce of your choice – read the label for carb counts.

Bring broth to rolling boil, add the pork, bok choy, spices, and sauces.

Cover and allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the bok choy is completely wilted.

Serve in bowls, serves 2

Kale is an excellent alternative if you can’t find Baby Bok Choy. If you do use Kale, remove centre vein and give the Kale a rough chop before adding it to the pot.

Most Asian Markets carry Baby Bok Choy; sometimes called Bok Choy Sprouts. It is low in carbs and high in fibre. I prefer it over Kale. It is rich in Vitamins A, C, K and is also a great source of Calcium.

Carb counts: As Garlic and Ginger are relatively high in carbs, take that into account. However, we aren’t using copious amounts of either in this recipe.
Kale has more carbs than Bok Choy.

BBQ Sauce – Low Carb

This recipe is adapted from the popular DIY recipes floating around in the 70s. My mother’s friend used a similar recipe for sloppy joes.

1 cup plain tomato sauce
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp Garlic Powder or 2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 small white onion, minced
1 Tsp Oregano
Hot Sauce of your choice, read labels well
Stevia to taste
If you want it smoky, add a tsp of liquid smoke.

Place everything except the stevia in a pot, simmer on the stove for about 30 minutes, stirring often. It will thicken. Add stevia toward the end, taste and adjust flavours. Cool, then place in an airtight container. This sauce should keep in the fridge for about a week.

20 net carbs in full recipe. However, you aren’t going to be eating 1 cup of this in one sitting!

Slow Cooker Instructions for Pulled Pork:
Sear meat in oil on stove top, making every side of the meat is seared.
Add to crockpot
Deglaze pan with broth, then pour the drippings, along with all the other ingredients over the pork. If you used a bowl to marinate the meat, make sure everything from that bowl lands in the crockpot.
Cook on high for one hour, lower the heat and cook for 7 additional hours. Check tenderness, let cook for one hour more if needed.

©2017 Katherine Walden

Poor Man’s Cabbage and Corned Beef – Instant Pot

Instant Pot Poor Man's Cabbage and Canned Corned Beef - Tender, satisfying and incredibly budget friendly. Keto, low-carb

I had a cabbage sitting on my counter for over a week, staring balefully at me every time I went into the kitchen. “Sure, buy me then don’t use me. Just let me sit here and wither up. Get my hopes up and then dump me!” I gave in, for heartless reasons only. I needed the counter space. I was tired of dealing with spoiled produce. I was also hungry, and I didn’t feel like thawing out meat. A thought dawned on me.

I remember my mother serving “Smoked Pork Hocks and Cabbage” when I was a very young child. We were on a tight budget; smoked pork hocks were not considered a luxury item back then. I remembered the smoky, fatty, sweet taste of that dish. Keto friendly if I left out the boiled potatoes. Bacon would add the smoky flavour and corned beef would provide the protein and fat. A marriage made in Keto heaven.

I was not disappointed. A delicious hearty broth, sweet and tender cabbage, smoky bacon, and not too mushy corned beef made for a satisfying, comforting supper on a cold Alberta evening.

Tips:
Always heat an Instant Pot’s stainless steel pot first before adding oil. It stops the oil from sticking.
Use an electric can opener to open both ends of a canned corned beef can. Push the corned beef out by pressing against the smaller end of the can. Ditch the key!
Use corned beef brisket in place of canned corned beef if you have leftovers and a pocketbook with money in it.

Recipe: Poor Man’s Cabbage and Canned Corned Beef Stew

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
5 slices bacon cut into thirds
1 head of cabbage, chopped into about 2″ chunks (850g)
1 can corned beef
Yes, I know it’s peasant food, but the brisket is out of my price range and canned works well in this recipe.
1 1/2 cup beef stock
Salt and pepper
Directions

Set Instant Pot to Saute.
When HOT flashes, add the oil, heat for 20 seconds
Add bacon and saute until just about crisp but not too crisp.
While the pot is still on Saute, add cabbage and stir so the awesome bacon grease is distributed.
Add stock while keeping the pot on saute
When you hear the sounds of bubbling on the bottom of the pot, add salt and a generous amount of cracked pepper
Layer thick slices of corned beef on top of the cabbage
Place lid on instant pot, make sure to turn value in the right direction, so it’s not venting
Set Manual (high pressure) for 4 minutes (don’t overcook!)
Use Quick Pressure Release

Serve immediately

450g serving (about 1/4 recipe) with broth – think of a stew
680 calories
carbs 9.6 net
Fat 42g
Protein 62.7g

©2017 Katherine Walden

All Amazon links are either the actual supplements, kitchen tools, and foods that I actually use or they are close proximities. While I do receive a small affiliate payment from Amazon for providing you with these links, I will not post links to products that I cannot endorse with a good conscience.

Juicy Leftover Roast Beef and Onion Cheese Melt – Low Carb

Juicy Beef and Onion Cheese Melt = A great use of leftover roast

I don’t know what to call this spontaneous lunch dish! But I will call it exquisite. I was looking for a way to add more fat to a leftover roast I made a few days ago and thus began one of my famous experiments.

The key to this recipe is the reduction of the beef broth while allowing the leftover roast beef and onions to simmer in the reducing liquid. I used the broth I reserved from an Instant Pot Roast.

Juicy Beef and Onion Cheese Melt = A great use of leftover roast
Simmering leftover roast with a sliced onion in homemade beef broth restores the beef back to its awesome juiciness.

Tip 1: You won’t oversalt a broth you are going to reduce if you go easy on the salt before the reduction process starts. Add more salt once it is reduced. As the liquid reduces, the saltiness will become pronounced.

I was amazed how good this tasted; it reminded me of French Onion Soup. This dish is low-carb and gluten-free and a breeze to prepare. It took 20 minutes from start to finish!

Tip 2: Invest in a kitchen food scale. I am a convert! My scale makes my life so much easier.

Leftover Roast and Onion Cheese Melt Recipe

Preheat oven to 400F

Ingredients

110g (4 oz) shredded leftover roast beef
I used leftover pot roast
34g (1 oz) onion, sliced very thin in matchsticks
1/3 cup beef broth – I saved the broth from the pot roast
1 tbsp coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil
50g (2.2 oz) total grated mozzarella/cheddar cheese mix – Swiss and cheddar would be a great mix as well.

Instructions:

Heat oil in a cast iron pan, add onion, saute until translucent
Add leftover roast beef, stir fry for a minute.
Then add broth, allow the broth to reduce until just about all of it is evaporated.
This technique allows the beef to remain tender and juicy.
Salt and Pepper to taste after the sauce reduces or the broth will be too salty.
Transfer to a small greased ovenproof dish

Top with grated cheese.

Place the ovenproof dish in a 400F preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Yields one substantial serving
Nutritional Values:
Calories 487
Protein 50g
Fat 30g
Net Carbs 4.7

©2017 Katherine Walden

Low Carb Raspberry Chocolate Protein Smoothie

Joy Fueled Low Carb Raspberry Chocolate Protein Smoothie

It’s not uncommon for colds and viruses to make the rounds in my city during the first week of January. When you think about it, it makes sense. Lots of people crowding into airtight homes, celebrating Christmas and New Years Eve. A few days later, and WHAM! I fell victim to a flu-like virus for a few days and just didn’t feel like eating. While I knew I needed nourishment, I didn’t have the energy to cook and ordering out for pizza on a Keto Diet just wasn’t going to happen. My burning throat wanted something cold anyhow. A Protein Smoothie for supper was on my mind; straightforward, fast, and little clean up involved.

I rummaged around my pantry and freezer for something I could dump in my Blendtec, and I came up with a delicious Low Carb Raspberry Chocolate Protein Smoothie. While this drink is relatively high in net carbs for a traditional Keto Diet, I wasn’t planning on eating anything else, and I made sure that I stayed well within the safety margin of my daily carb intake.

I prefer a grass-fed low-carb whey powder. If you can find one from New Zealand, the quality will blow you away. I find New Zealand whey blends well in any protein smoothie I make.

I honestly do not like the earthiness of powdered greens, but the chocolate and raspberries mask that taste!

Raspberry Chocolate Protein Smoothie

Ingredients:

250g (about 1 cup) frozen Raspberries
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
325g (about 1.5 cups) Unsweetened and unflavoured Almond Milk
3 tbsp Low Carb Unflavoured Whey Powder ( I prefer grass-fed)
1.5 tbsp cocoa powder – unsweetened
1 square Lindt 85% Dark Chocolate – plain
One serving powdered greens of your choice. If the greens are flavoured, make sure there is no added sugar – berry flavoured would be quite nice!
Stevia to taste

Directions:

Use a high-speed blender for this recipe. I love my Blendtec and have used it continuously for five years now. As long as I keep the jar out of the dishwasher, it serves me well.

Melt the square of chocolate in a small glass bowl in the microwave at 70% power. Check every 15 seconds; you don’t want to overprocess the chocolate. You just wanted it softened, so it blends better. If you don’t have any 85% dark chocolate around, just throw in another tbsp cocoa powder!

If the raspberries are in a frozen clump, separate them a bit before adding them to the blender. Place everything else in the blender, and blend on high for about 30 seconds. The results should be a thick milkshake consistency.

I wouldn’t recommend adding coconut oil to this recipe as the slight coconut flavour might be a bit off putting with the raspberries. If you use MCT oil, add a tbsp and adjust the nutritional values below.

Raspberry Chocolate Protein Smoothie – Nutritional Value – Full Recipe
Yield 630g or 2.6 cups
620 Calories
14.4g Net Carbs
49.2 Protein
31.7 Fat

Replace heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk if you are vegan or non-dairy and adjust the nutritional values accordingly.

Note on Calorie Count

The calorie count for this protein smoothie might shock you but did you know that a Triple Thick Strawberry Shake from McDonald’s has a fraction of the nutritional value of my recipe? A Triple Thick Shake from McDonald’s comes in at a staggering 720 calories in less than 2 cups (448g) and contains 127g net carbs – mostly sugars. With only 18g protein and 14g fat in a McDonald’s shake, and an extensive list of additives, you can see why my protein smoothie is a much better option.

©2017 Katherine Walden

All Amazon links are either the actual supplements, kitchen tools, and foods that I actually use or they are close proximities. While I do receive a small affiliate payment from Amazon for providing you with these links, I will not post links to products that I cannot endorse with a good conscience.

Simple Pan Fried Chicken Thighs – Keto Friendly

Simple Pan Fried Chicken Thighs - Low Carb Keto - It's all in the technique

This is a very simple recipe for pan fried chicken thighs, but if you learn the following technique, you will always have great results. Don’t fuss with your protein when cooktop frying! Every time you flip protein in the pan or test it with a fork, you are allowing luscious juices to escape.

Technique for Pan Fried Chicken Thighs

Heat 2 tbsps of unrefined coconut oil in a cast iron pan until the oil is hot but not smoking.
In the meanwhile, generously salt and season 2 chicken thighs, with skin on and bone in.

Gently place the chicken thighs skin-side down in the pan. The oil should lightly sizzle at this point.
Place a splatter guard over the pan.

Lower the heat to the low side of medium

Do not move the chicken for 15 minutes!
Don’t be tempted to move the chicken. You want to develop a crust.
Shift the pan if you have an uneven cooking surface such as an old style burner but don’t shift the chicken itself.

Gently turn the chicken thighs over at 15 minutes.
Ooooh in delight at the sight of awesome golden-brown crispy skin

Fry for another 10-15 minutes (without touching the chicken!) until juices come clear.
Remove the chicken thighs from the pan, drain on paper towel
Serve with a huge side of buttered steamed broccoli

Nutritional Value
If oil is hot enough, not much soaks into the chicken so weigh your chicken!
Weigh the chicken once it is cooked. Weigh the bones and subtract that weight from the previous weight. Calculate your macros based on ‘dark meat, boneless, skin on.’ You will have a more accurate weight.

Tips:
Why Coconut oil? It has a higher smoke temperature – meaning you can safely fry things in it at a higher heat without the oil becoming toxic. It also does an amazing job at crisping chicken.
IF you are using a different type of protein, adjust frying times. Pork chops and steak will cook much faster. The important thing is, don’t play with the meat once it is in the pan!

©2016 Katherine Walden

All Amazon links are either the actual supplements, kitchen tools, and foods that I actually use or they are close proximities. While I do receive a small affiliate payment from Amazon for providing you with these links, I will not post links to products that I cannot endorse with a good conscience.

Lazy Pulled BBQ Chicken – Keto Style – Low Carb

I came up with this BBQ Chicken recipe when I needed to find a way to add fat to a bag of skinless, boneless chicken breasts I had bought before I went Keto. I now use mostly chicken thighs and legs with skin. If I do use chicken breasts, it’s usually in a recipe such as this.

I placed the contents of a big bag of Costco frozen seasoned chicken breasts in my slow cooker along with the following:
One onion cut in half. Unpeeled but washed well.
2 whole carrots, scrubbed, cut in half.
3 stalks celery, washed, left whole.
1/2 cup Organic chicken broth.

Cook in slow cooker on high for 3 – 5 hours

Once the chicken breasts are cooked through, discarded the veggies.
Drain the broth into air tight container. Use within 2-3 days.
Once the chicken is cool enough to touch, shred it by using two forks.
Weigh 100g (3.5 oz) servings and place in zip-lock bags. Freeze until needed

Make sure to read the nutritional label on the frozen chicken breast bag – some frozen breasts have sugar added.

Now on to the Lazy BBQ Chicken Recipe!

Ingredients:
1 heaping tsp Zero Carb BBQ dry spice mix
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
2 tbsp mayonnaise (not low-fat)
1 green onion (Scallion) chopped fine
3 tbsp low carb ketchup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
A few drops of stevia or favourite sweetener
Salt/Pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste – Hidden sugar alert! Read labels well!
100g Shredded chicken
45g (1.5 oz) Shredded Cheddar Cheese divided into two equal portions

Nutritional Values for full Keto Style Pulled BBQ Chicken recipe:
Calories 533
Protein 42g
Carb (Net) 6g
Fat 40g

Directions:
Mix everything together, except for 1/2 the cheese.
The mixture should be moist and should hold together somewhat.
Add more mayo or a bit of softened cream cheese if need be to ensure it holds together.
Allow the flavours to blend by putting in the fridge for about 1/2 hour or so.
At that point, adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Preheat oven to 400F

Place silicone sheet on a baking sheet

Place the chicken mixture on the silicone sheet. Make a heaping mound, then flatten slightly but don’t spread it out too much. Top with remaining cheese. Bake about 15 – 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the chicken mixture is warmed through.

Serve with large romaine lettuce leaves; the leaves can be used as wraps.

1 large serving (entree) or 2 appetizers/snacks

Items used:
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©2016 Katherine Walden

All Amazon links are either the actual supplements, kitchen tools, and foods that I actually use or they are close proximities. While I do receive a small affiliate payment from Amazon for providing you with these links, I will not post links to products that I cannot endorse with a good conscience.

Keto and Stress. Finding Healthy Ways to Bring Comfort

Face it, we all experience stress to some extent. We need to have a game plan on how to incorporate Keto into those times of stress so we can eat healthily and support our bodies.

In times of stress, it can be tempting to go to our old comfort standbys. However, indulging in those standbys are a sure road to keto-flu and feeling bloated.There comes a time when you realise that Keto is not a ‘diet’ it’s a lifestyle. I am currently in an incredibly stressful season involving circumstances far beyond my control. This season will eventually pass, but as a result of the stress, I’ve gained two or three pounds. Those pounds are not a result of overeating or cheating. I am in a stall. My body is ‘protect’ mode. I am still eating Keto, keeping carbs down and carrying on. This way of life has to fit into my life, during times of calm and times of stress, or it isn’t going to work. Keto living is my new normal. I am thankful for the natural appetite control that is built into Keto. I’ve not been seriously tempted to cave into old comfort food patterns.

Here are a few articles and videos I found that discusses what our bodies do in times of stress and why weight loss is temporarily stalled at such times.

A simple explanation: What stress does to Ketosis
Stress may add bite to appetite in women: a laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behaviour
Understanding how grief affects the body
Youtube Video – How stress affects Keto-adaption.
Youtube video -Adrenal Gland Fatigue – Stress and Keto

So how to manage stress?

I am no expert. Therefore, I am sharing what has been helpful to me. It may not be helpful to you.

  1. Rest: If you are experiencing difficulty in sleeping, try melatonin. It either works for you or it doesn’t. There is no middle ground.An hour before you go to bed, have an Epsom Salt bath in warm but not overly hot water. Two cups of Epsom salt will help relax your body, as your skin absorbs the magnesium in the salts. Take a magnesium supplement, if you are not already doing so.
  2. Download a blue light filter for your smartphone/tablet if you use it to read from at night. The blue light from the screen will keep you awake and will disturb REM sleep. Also consider purchasing blue-light blocking computer glasses, if you use your computer after 5 P.M.
  3. Going through a personal crisis or an season of high stress? Keto on! Here are some tips to help you through.

  4. Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. Reduce caffeine. For every ounce of coffee that you drink, drink double that amount in noncaffeinated liquids.
  5. Make playlists of your favourite comfort songs and listen to them often
  6. Avoid violence-ridden or stress-filled movies, television, and games.
  7. Watch silly comedies
  8. If you can exercise, do so. However, now is not the time to begin a serious weight training regiment. Now is the time for moderate exercise. Go easy.
  9. Talk to a friend about what is going on. Yes, guys, I know that’s hard to do, but do it anyhow.
  10. I am a Christian, and I find prayer to be extremely helpful. However, don’t make your prayer time a time of begging God to do something. Relax and remind yourself that God is good and He is there for you.
  11. Rid your kitchen of temptations even the healthy ones if you are prone to binging. If chocolate bars were your go-to comfort food in the past, protein bars might try to take their place. Bingeing on anything to the point of excess is not a good plan.
    Look for keto-friendly snack items that are super simple to prepare. Pepperoni sticks, cheese sticks, pork rinds. Grape tomatoes, non-sweetened pickles, cucumber slices with ranch dressing.
    Portion out nuts into individual servings and place them in snack-sized ziplock bags.
    If you are in the US, Biglow Girl Guide Thin Mint Herbal tea has zero calories and tastes fantastic.
    85% dark chocolate. One square should satisfy a serious craving for sweets.
  12. Stick to your keto diet plan. High fat, moderate protein, low carbs. This is your life now, and life does not stop just because of stress.
  13. Search google for just about any childhood comfort food you love, and you should find a keto-friendly adaptation. Macaroni and Cheese, Meatloaf, grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, chili, spaghetti; they all have keto or low carb versions all over the ‘net. You can find a recipe for just about any cake, cookie or sweet that has been adapted for low-carb diets as well.
  14. Remember, it’s not a good idea to have alternative sweetener treats every day, even if they are completely natural. These should be occasional treats and not daily rewards. You turned to Keto because sugary carbs were killing you. You need to find new healthy ways to comfort yourself that do not surround carbs or carb alternative foods.
  15. Be kind to yourself! Ditch the scale until your crisis is over. If you cheat on your eating plan, figure out what triggered the cheat and find an alternative way to have that need met. Don’t beat yourself up!

©2016 Katherine Walden

Keto Friendly Kale, Broccoli, and Brussel Sprouts Salad

Kale, Broccoli, and Brussel Sprouts Salad. This is great for potlucks. Keto Friendly, full of vitamins, fibre, and micronutrients.

To say I am not a fan of cooked kale in any form is an understatement. However, I love that packaged Sweet Kale Salad Kit that is sold at Costco and most supermarkets across Canada. The problem with that salad mix is that the enclosed dressing is full of sugar. The dried cranberries in the topping don’t help matters much either. But I have a hankering for this salad. What’s a girl to do? She experiments, of course.

Brussel sprouts may have a few more carbs than some Keto vegetables but they are nutrient rich and a few go a long way as far as flavour goes. This salad will serve at least 8. Bring it to a potluck. No one will know it’s Keto. Hey, maybe your favourite Uncle George will eat his veggies this way, then again, probably not! Baby steps, people, baby steps. We can’t convert the world to the wonders of raw kale at once. One person at a time. This salad is high in fiber, rich in vitamins, and a good source of micronutrients. If you add chia seeds to the dressing, not only will they help thicken the dressing, they will add omega 3 fats!

I strongly suggest you use a food processor or a mandolin for this recipe unless you have amazing knife skills. The key to this salad is to shred the broccoli and Brussel sprouts. I use a food processor as my ER doctor said he didn’t want to stitch me up ‘again’ after my last incident with a mandolin. Don’t ask.

I also suggest that you use fully grown kale. The fully grown kale stands up well with the other vegetables. You can make this salad a day in advance of serving if you don’t use baby kale. It’s great to take to work! Just make sure to remove the woody stem and the centre stalk of each kale leaf. Your fibre intake is more than covered by the broccoli and Brussel sprouts!

I recently discovered VitaFiber, a high fibre sugar substitute that is sold online and in some low-carb grocery outlets. It is not as sweet as sugar but it has no aftertaste in contrast to other sweeteners. It is also very high in fibre. Feel free to replace VitaFiber with your favourite sweetener, of course. If you aren’t following a Keto lifestyle, maple syrup would be awesome in the dressing.

Mix the dressing first, and set it in the fridge so the flavours can blend, especially if you add chia seeds.

I suggest using an immersion blender for the dressing.

Kale, Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts Salad

Dressing Ingredients:
2 Tbsp VitaFiber or sweeten to your liking with your favourite sweetener.
2 Tbsp  grainy Dijon mustard
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp Chia Seeds (Optional)
Place all the above in blender cup, then add:
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Emulsify until creamy.
This dressing will keep in an airtight bottle in the fridge for a few days.

Salad Ingredients:
3 cups regular kale with the stalk removed as well as the centre tough vein of the leaf removed. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
3 cups shredded or shaved fresh brussels sprouts, about 18.  It all depends on the size of the sprout.
3 cups shredded or shaved fresh broccoli. Peel the stem and use it! It is delicious in this salad
1.5 cups of thinly sliced red or green cabbage

Pour enough of the dressing to coat but not drown the salad ingredients. Toss, then chill for at least four hours, or overnight.

Nutritional Value – 1 Serving. Approximately 1 cup or 150g
Calories: 205
Fat: 16.10g
Carb (Net) 7.96g
Protein 3.78g

Optional toppings: (Not included in nutritional count)
Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, bacon bits.
Don’t toss in the seeds or bacon bits until moments before serving or else they will become soggy.

For more protein, add sliced hard-boiled eggs.

©2016 Katherine Walden

All Amazon links are either the actual supplements, kitchen tools, and foods that I actually use or they are close proximities. While I do receive a small affiliate payment from Amazon for providing you with these links, I will not post links to products that I cannot endorse with a good conscience.

Keto Style Pork Chops Smothered in Mushroom Sauce

Keto Style Pork Chops Smothered In Mushroom Sauce - Quick and Easy, A classic recipe modified for low carb lifestyle

I LOVE pork chops, and I LOVE Mushrooms. When I realised I could have both AND lose weight, I almost cried.

I grew up during the time where every mother had several cans of Cream of Mushroom soup in their pantry. The thick soup made for smooth sauces over meatloaf and pork chops and served as the base for chicken and rice casseroles.  Perhaps that’s why I look at Cream of Mushroom as a base for comfort food and not for a bowl of soup!

I searched for an easy Cream of Mushroom recipe that was actually low carb as well as Keto friendly, and I came up empty.Each half a cup DILUTED serving of the canned soup has 10 carbs! As we are using the undiluted soup in recipes, that means it’s packed with carbs. And so began yet another experiment.  I have to say; I prefer the taste of this recipe over the original canned soup!

Keto Pork Chop and Mushroom Sauce Recipe

Pork Chop Ingredients:
2 pork chops bone in
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt and Pepper

Pork Chop Directions:
Salt and pepper the pork chops generously. Use bone-in pork chops for better flavour
Heat cast iron pan, add coconut oil and allow the oil to melt completely and to come to a high temperature.
The pork chops should sizzle when you put them in the pan. Lower heat to medium-high.
Depending on the thickness, the chops should only take about 5 minutes on each side. You want the pink to be gone but don’t overcook!
Remove from pan, do not throw away the pan drippings, you will need them for the sauce.

Tip: You need to calculate the calorie/proteins and fat as no pork chop weighs the same. An online friend passed on this tip to me, weigh the chops before cooking. Then deduct the weight of the bone from that measurement when you are finished eating. You will be able to measure proteins and fat more accurately. List in your food diary as a boneless pork chop. I use the same measuring technique for measuring chicken legs and thighs.  For example: 256g raw chops (bone in) – 56g bone weight =200g boneless pork chop

Mushroom Sauce Ingredients:
2 tbsp butter
120g sliced mushrooms
2 finely diced garlic cloves
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom Sauce Instructions
Add butter to the same pan the pork chops were fried in. Make sure the pan is not too hot.
Scrape all the drippings up from the bottom of the pan.
Saute mushrooms and garlic until mushrooms are golden brown in colour. This should take about 5 – 10 minutes.
Pour cream, cheese and the Dijon mustard over the mushrooms.
Add salt and pepper
Stir on medium heat, allowing the sauce to bubble as you stir. Reduce until the sauce thickens.

Mushroom Sauce Yield (4 Servings) 834 Calories Fat 84g Protein 12.80 Carbs (Net) 12.5g
Single serving 209 Calories Fat 21g Protein 3.2g Carbs (Net) 3.13g

Pour 1/4 of the reduced sauce over the chops. Serve with steamed broccoli, kale or spinach.

Tip: Invest in good cast iron frying pans. With proper care, they are non-stick and they serve you well for decades. I currently am using a 10-inch pan my grandfather used in the 1920s!

©2016 Katherine Walden

All Amazon links are either the actual supplements, kitchen tools, and foods that I actually use or they are close proximities. While I do receive a small affiliate payment from Amazon for providing you with these links, I will not post links to products that I cannot endorse with a good conscience.