Simplify Keto Cooking

One of the main concerns many of my clients express early on in their ketogenic lifestyle journey is that adopting this new way of eating is “too complicated”. 

Giving your pantry and fridge a makeover can seem daunting.  Removing easy-to-cook staples like pasta and rice might be scary.  Keeping keto simple is paramount to success early on, and let’s face it, if we start seeing and feeling immediate results, we’re going to stick to the plan!

Keto is the CRAZE, and there is no shortage of information on HOW to keto, and what you should be eating.  There are a million incredible recipes across Pinterest, in the blogosphere, and in many cookbooks.  (Confession: I probably own ALL of them!) 

Not gonna lie: when I first adopting a ketogenic lifestyle, I was buying tons of fancy ingredients and trying all of the recipes I found.  It was pretty darn expensive!  And as much as I love to cook, spending seven hours in the kitchen every Sunday to “prep for the week” takes the enjoyment out of a hobby that I truly love.  Now, my prep time throughout the week is 2-3 hours TOPS.

I have learned from my mistakes, and am happy to pass this knowledge onto you.  These are my 5 Steps to Simplify Keto Cooking

1.     Batch cooking and simple storing.  Keto muffins, breads, casseroles and proteins are all items that can be prepared well in advance and stored in your fridge or freezer.  Muffin tins are great for portioning foods that are traditionally made in a casserole dish, and will take up much less space in your fridge/freezer.  I always make a package of bacon in my oven (375 for 25 minutes), and up to two batches of protein per week in my Instant Pot.  Some of my favorites are chicken thighs and pork shoulder with 1-2 cups of vegetable stock poured over top before cooking.

2.     The incredible, edible egg.  Eggs are an amazing source of fat and protein.  You can buy them anywhere and cook them however you like.  My family and I eat eggs at any time of day, for any meal or snack.  Combine them with full fat cream cheese and some stevia for a quick and simple keto pancake, or mash them with some avocado oil mayo and salt for a simple, delicious egg salad.

3.     Pick non-starchy veggies that are simple to eat both raw and cooked.  Okay, so celery isn’t great when it’s cooked (in my opinion), I love the crunch of a celery stick – especially when it’s dipped in coconut oil and almond butter!  Cauliflower, radishes and spinach are also always on my weekly grocery list.  If you haven’t tried roasting radishes in macadamia nut butter, go do it NOW!

4.     Drop a bomb in your smoothie.  There are some pretty awesome ketogenic fat bomb recipes out there, and when added to a smoothie, they create a fatty DQ Blizzard-type drink!  One of my favorite fat bomb recipes is a fudge with just 1 cup of melted almond butter, 1 cup of melted coconut oil, and ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, combined in a blender and refrigerated for at least two hours.  I make these in mini muffin tins, then pop one out, add it to 1 cup of unsweetened cashew milk with ice, and blended until creamy perfection.  Yum!  PERFECT to get your fats on early in the day and when you need something to grab and go.

5.     Enjoy three simple super fats.   Eating keto means upping our intake of healthy fats, likely way beyond any amount of fat you have consumed in the past.   Coconut oil, Haas avocados, and macadamia nuts could very well take you to your fat goals for the day.  These three items are super fats in that they are high in healthy saturated fats while being low (or no) carb and protein.  While you may not enjoy snacking on a spoonful of coconut oil, it’s the perfect addition to salad dressings, roasted veggies, guacamole, coffee/tea, broth, smoothies, and mixed into nut butters.  Avocados and macadamia nuts are also great in salads, smoothies, or just by themselves!

In Ketogenic Living 101: Eat Fat to Burn Fat, my goal is to help my clients avoid that feeling of overwhelm by keeping recipes simple and providing an easy-to-follow comprehensive program guide.   The Pantry Guide and Eat This, Not That sheet help make grocery shopping easy, but I always remind my clients that they can do a LOT with just a few very simple ingredients.  So can you!