Before I get to the recipes today I wanted to talk a little about what keto is and what it isn’t. I was very alarmed to see some major media outlets ranking it very low according to “experts.” There are a ton of different “diets” out there, not all of them are wrong or bad. For example there are many similarities between the modified Atkins, and other low-carb diet plans (there are a number of others). The similarity is that they call for low-carb eating or cutting out sugar and starches. However, many of the processed products that you can buy to follow these plans, contain artificial sweeteners, which research is showing is treated by our bodies in a very similar way as sugar, leading to more insulin resistance, instead of less.
So, artificial sweeteners are not our friend, hence why just changing to sugar-free, has not helped the obesity/diabetes epidemic. I thought I would share with you an illustration that will hopefully help you understand why our bodies can’t handle the saturation of starch and sugar that is the “American diet.”
This diagram represents average Joe eating typically. Lots of processed easy foods, a bit of fast food thrown in, along with some sugar free and low-fat stuff thrown in to help ease the conscience. What is happening inside?
Well you see all those simple carbs (the purple guys), they are instant fuel, body digests and is able to dump into the blood stream for quick fuel for the cells. Sounds great, very little energy consumed in this process. Insulin is a key that opens the pathways to get the glucose (sugar) into the cells to be used. But, because the so many of the foods available (processed) contain sugar and/or starch the system gets overloaded, the insulin key gets used to the point that it is worn down (insulin resistance) and no longer easily opens those pathways to get the fuel into the cells. Our cells don’t know that there is plenty of fuel stuck in the bloodstream, they just know, they require fuel. So, guess what, you feel hungry. But, what about all that excess fuel (sugar) that is just floating around? Well, or fuel storage system kicks in and stores it as fat. End result hunger, sugar cravings, and weight gain.
The great news is this cycle can be broken and your body can relearn how to properly fuel itself.
This diagram represents average Joe, that is eating a high fat, low carb, moderate protein diet such as keto. Most of the sweeteners used for keto friendly foods are sugar alcohols, which the body metabolizes differently than sugar.
So Joe is sending the body fat as the majority of the fuel source for the cells. Fat can’t just be dumped from the blood stream into cells and used for fuel, it must be converted into usable fuel. This conversion requires energy (fuel) so the body will pull from the fat stores to help keep the conversion factory up and running. Because, the body isn’t swimming in sugar and starch (glucose) the insulin key system starts to repair. The cells get fed and Joe feels sated, because the cells have the fuel they need, Joe also has more energy, and because the body is using the fat stores to power the conversion system, Joe is also losing weight.
This is the simplest way I know to explain the why of a low-carb high-fat lifestyle, to those who keep getting stuck on the fact that we have been led to believe that fat is the enemy. I hope this helps.
So, getting back to the recipes and trying to have my cake and actually get to it too. I am a fan of potatoes, and although I have come to really enjoy veggie mashes that don’t knock me out of keto, one of the things I really really miss is Potato Salad!
But what to use instead of a potato? After making the keto gnocchi I got the idea that maybe with a bit of tweaking, I could make a wanna-be potato. It worked! So, you get a three-fer on recipes today, because I paired the Keto Tater Salad with some yummy chicken nuggets (was working on some kid friendly recipes for grandkid visits).
Remember you can click on the recipe name to be taken to a printer friendly version.
2 Tbsp butter softened
2 1/2 cups sunflower seed flour
1 scoop whey protein powder (about 6 Tbsp)
1 scoop MCT powder (optional)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp grass-fed gelatin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
In mixer bowl using the paddle attachment, add butter and dry ingredients and blend.
Add eggs and mix thoroughly until dough ball forms.
Shape dough into small red potato sized balls (makes about 24).
Bring water in a medium pot to a hard boil on medium high heat. Carefully add “spuds” to the water, bring back up to a boil and reduce heat to medium and boil 8-10 mins.
Drain water and set “spuds” to cool.
Serve like potatoes with butter, salt and pepper, or gravy; or cut up and use in other potato dishes.
20-24 Keto Spuds-diced
6 egg- hard boiled
1 cup chopped dill pickles
3/4 cup chopped green onions (yellow onion is okay too)
1/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp brown mustard
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
Mix diced “spuds”, hard-boiled eggs, pickles and onion into a large bowl.
Add pickle juice, mayo, mustard, garlic and spices.
Mix thoroughly. Let it rest in the refrigerator for about a half to one hour before serving.
2 cups pureed chayote squash (may use pumpkin or other squash)
3 Tbsp Lard or Unsalted butter
1 scoop whey protein powder (about 1/3 cup)
4 cups ground pork rinds
2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs
Preheat oven to 400 ° F. Cover baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
Cut chicken into desired sized nuggets and set aside.
In food processor or blender, mix all the ingredients (not the chicken) until thick and can roll dough into balls.
Roll dough into balls big enough to sink chicken chunk into, use hands to form dough around the chicken nugget and pinch shut. Set on baking sheet.
Repeat until all chicken nuggets are covered with “breading”.
Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 20-25 mins or until internal temperature is at 165° F. or deep fry at 375° F. for about 8 mins.
If you have any left over dough, roll into small balls and flatten on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 mins, until nicely browned, these make wonderful healthy dog treats!
Have you tried any of the recipes I have posted? Please let me know how you liked them or any questions you may have. I am really excited about what the keto lifestyle is doing for me and would love to hear from all of you about your experiences too. I am also open to requests if there is a favorite you would like me to try and find a keto friendly way to make, I love a challenge!
Recipe sharing is also encouraged, if you post one from another site, that is fine, just please do give them credit for the recipe.