Categories
Keto Recipes

Keto Lasagna

 

One of my biggest fears starting a KETO lifestyle was giving up breads and pasta. I was so uneducated on KETO when I first started, all I knew is that it was high fat low carb and I kept seeing it with connected to IF (intermittent fasting) specifically for women over 40. I had seen many people lose and keep off a ton of fat. I had the biggest weight loss goal of my life, was in my early forties, and nothing was working. I was desperate, and I am not talking DHOBH! I started researching all I could find on KETO and IF. I learned exactly WHY all my efforts were actually making me sicker and fatter! DING DING! It made sense. The science behind it and the role hormones have in losing weight opened my whole world of feeling like I could actually lose weight and reach my goals! Then I was on the hunt for what to eat. About two months after I starting eating a KETO lifestyle and I was loving the cauliflower crust pizza which satisfied any desire for pasta, it suddenly hit me. I could made KETO LASAGNA with thin cauliflower pizza crust as the lasagna noodles! It worked out perfectly! AND it freezes so well!!!

I  literally was so thrilled how it turned out! The KETO lasagna was so freaking delicious! I had zucchini and yellow squash that I layered on top of the ricotta. I was planning to add chopped spinach to the ricotta, but completely forgot in my whole creative process making it, not sure how it would turn out. You do NOT need to add the zucchini, yellow squash, or the spinach. I absolutely LOVE the texture it adds as well as knowing I can squeeze in more veggies. I also used my homemade marinara sauce and it was yummy!

If you do not have a family that will be eating this as a meal(my husband is NOT interested in eating KETO so I am on my own with this one and we do not have kids at this point), I recommend freezing individually portioned slices of lasagna, which I am actually so excited to have in my freezer to pop in the fridge when I am off to work to have for my OMAD meal when I get home, and just throw together a big leafy green salad with NO COOKING required. 

I ended up making two 9x13 pans of this over two days of prep. I basically doubled the recipe, but that was a lot of cooking I have to admit. I used two heads of cauliflower to make the crusts/noodles, that I baked in jelly roll pans. I cut them to the 9x13 pan size for one big KETO lasagna “noodle” which was nice instead of monkeying with a load of individual noodles. I had some left over pieces that I froze for dipping in marinara sauce as needed. 

Keto Marinara Sauce

This sauce is so delicious, easy, and versatile it’s not worth trying to find a bottled version that won’t kick you out of keto. Make a big batch, portion, and store for future meals with no cooking or clean up. Use it as pizza sauce, dipping sauce, marinara for keto “noodles.” You can easily add ground meat to make an Italian meat sauce.

2 T olive oil or butter

1 chopped onion

2-4 T minced garlic

4 T-1/4 c Italian seasonings

4 cans tomato paste

4 can-fulls of water (use the empty tomato paste cans to measure-if you want a thinner sauce, add another can or two)

2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

2 T to 1/4 c sugar substitute 

1) Heat your skillet on medium heat, and add your oil or melt the butter.
2) Once hot, add your onion and garlic. Saute until transparent.
3) Stir in the Italian seasoning, then the tomato paste, and water. Stir until incorporated. Turn down to low to simmer.
4) Add the salt and sugar substitute to taste. Granulated erythritol is a great option. If you use other sugar substitutes, look at the substitution amounts so you do not add too much, or start small and go by taste. The sugar substitute cuts the acidic taste of the sauce.
5) Use right away hot as pizza sauce, marinara sauce, or store in a glass jar or air tight. Portion out and freeze for future meals in freezer bags. It usually tastes so much better after being chilled for a day, and all the flavors come together. Enjoy!

NOTE: You can replace the 4 tomato paste cans with 2 cans of tomato paste and 2 cans of tomato sauce, just reduce the water by half. I also  like adding a couple cans of diced tomatoes to add a more rustic texture and count the liquid from those cans as the water needed for the tomato paste. This can easily made into a meat sauce by browning up a pound or two of ground beef, or a ground beef and ground pork one to one mix. 

 

Keto Cauliflower Crust Pizza Lasagna “Noodles”

With less than 4 g of carbs per serving, a cauliflower pizza crust baked in a jelly roll pan, made extra thin, and cut to fit your lasagna pan make for the perfect KETO lasagna “noodle”. Layer with zucchini to add another dimension of texture, flavor, and packing more veggies to your meals. Chopped spinach added to the ricotta layer also ups the nutritional value of this meal. Don’t forget that the cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable also packed with nutrients and fiber.  This is a great freezer meal ready to feast on when you do not want to cook. This is so delicious and satisfying, you won’t believe it is KETO!

4 c grated cauliflower

4 eggs

 

4 c grated mozzarella cheese

2 T Italian seasonings, optional

 

1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. 

2) Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. 

3) To grate the cauliflower quickly and easily, use a food processor with a grating attachment. Then mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

4) Press the mix on the parchment paper to the desired thickness and shape. 

5) Bake for 25 min until browning on the top.  

6) Top with sauce, topping, and more cheese. 

7) Bake for another 10-15 min until the cheese is bubbly and browned. 

8) Let sit for 5 min. Cut and serve. 

Enjoy and get creative!

Keto Lasagna Layering and Baking

3-5 Keto cauliflower pizza crust rectangular “noodles” (recipe above)
Provolone cheese slices
Ricotta Mix:
4 c ricotta
4 eggs
1/4 c grated parmasan
1 c chopped spinach

Browned Italian Meat:
2 lbs ground beef, or a miz of 1 ob ea ground beef and ground pork (increase to 3 lbs if using 4 or 5 “noodle” layers
2 T garlic salt or garlic powder
2 T dried minced onions
2 tsp salt (optional if using garlic salt)
One recipe marinara sauce (recipe above)
Shredded mozarella

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
2) Trim cooled cauliflower pizza crust “noodles” (recipe above) to the size of your lasagna pans. You will need 3, 4 or 5 rectangle “noodles” depending on how tall your lasagna pan is. If your pan is 2 in deep, I would only use 3 rectangle noodles. If your pan is 3 inches deep, you can go to 4 or 5 depending on how much you layer in between.
3) Layer marinara on the bottom of the lasagna pan (9x13 pan). About 1 cup.
4) Add one rectangle lasagna “noodle.”
5) Layer provolone slices.
6) Layer the ricotta mix. Half the ricotta mix of using 3 keto “noodles”. A third if you are using 4; a qurter is using 5.
7) If you decide to layer zucchini and/or yellow squash (I use both if I have them on hand).
8) Add a layer of the browned meat (half if using 3 “noodles”), and top with 2-3 c marinara.
9) Sprinkle a thin layer of grated mozzarella.
10) Add another rectangle keto “noodle” and repeat the layers in order: provolone, ricotta mix, zucchini/yellow squash, browned meat,  marinara, grated mozzarella cheese.
11) For the last keto rectangle “noodle” layer, only top with marinara,
12) Bake for 50 min.
13) Sprinkle on a final layer of mozzarella cheese and bake for an additional 20 min.
14) Remove from the oven and let sit for 20-30 min to set up before slicing. Serve and Enjoy!
NOTE: You may freeze this dish. I recommend cooking first, and freezing in individual slices/servings by wrapping in plastic wrap or foil, and placing in a large freezer bag. Thaw in the fridge. You can freeze a whole pan, just know that is takes longer to thaw, and heat up.

Categories
Keto Recipes

Got-To Keto Avocado Ranch Dressing

 

Avocado’s healthy fats are pretty widely known, but do you know about the healthy fats in Sardines? Can’t fathom eating sardines? I know I couldn’t, but knowing their nutritional value, I wanted to find a way I could add them to my meals.  I love a good avocado ranch salad dressing, and figured it would be worth getting the best of both worlds with this dressing inspired by fresh Caesar salad dressing and a healthy keto diet…and it is so versatile you can use it for a burger sauce, and a Keto BBQ Ranch dressing. So yummy. 

I added a sugar free ketchup to this dressing which made an out-of-this-world delicious burger sauce for my Keto In-N-Out-Style Protein-Style Burger with all the benefits you get from eating avocados and sardines.

This dressing on a bed of spinach, cucumbers, tomato, and parmesan cheese is the perfect compliment to a perfectly pan seared filet of wild salmon and al dente asparagus. A ridiculously delicious and satisfying healthy keto meal wiht spot on fat-protein-carb ratios to promote fat burning.

It is also perfect with a sugar free BBQ sauce to make a Keto BBQ ranch salad with a bed of spinach, parmesan croutons for a great crunch, succulent grilled lime chicken, fresh tomato, creamy avocado, shredded jack cheese,  and diced red onion. This is one delicious complete meal healthy keto salad! You gotta try it. 

How healthy are sardines?

 First off, knowing how important Omega-3 fatty acids are may help motivate you to add more sources regularly in your diet. It’s important to get the right amount of fats for all your cellular membranes,  your brain, nervous systeoum, chemical reactions, stress and sex hormones, bile, fat soluble vitamins, eyes…the list goes on and on. Omega-3 Fatty acids can help fight anxiety and depression. They are also vital fats to transition from being a sugar-burner to a fat-burner on a healthy Keto Diet. For example, MTC’s are great for immediate and short term ketosis, but Omega-3’s provide the longer term bell curve ketosis.  GIven the importance of Omega-3’s for your body and becoming fat adapted through ketosis, sardines are a rich source worth finding ways you will be able to add them to your meals.

Literally, if eaten whole, sardines contain just about every nutrient your body needs. Knowing this fact still doesn’t make it palatable for me personally to eat these bad boys whole. A classic Caesar salad dressing that uses anchovy paste inspired me to make a dressing using sardines to boost my nutrients in my Keto meals. 

Keto Avocado Ranch Dressing

Avocado is such an important source of healthy fats, have you considered how nutrient dense sardines are? Consumed whole, they are packed with literally all the nutrients your body needs. The only issue may be how to work them into your nutrition if eating them straight is not appealing. This Avocado Ranch Dressing is inspired by a classic Caesar dressing, only adding sardines to take advantage of their jam packed nutritional value. This is also very versatile and can add sugar-free ketchup for a tasty burger sauce, or a sugar free BBQ sauce to finish off a yummy BBQ Chicken Salad. The sky is the limit!

1/2 onion or 1 shallot 

1-2 T minced garlic

2 avocados

canned wild caught sardines in olive oil (depending on your palate, you can use a whole can, half of a can, 2-3 sardines, play with the amount that works for you)

1 c full fat mayo (1/2 c each mayo & sour cream

 

1/4 c milk or milk substitute

1-2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

2-4 T buttermilk powder (4 is my preference)

1/2 c fresh parsley or 1/4 c dry

1 T fresh dill or 2 tsp dry dill

1 T fresh chives or 2 tsp dry chives

1/4 c ACV (apple cider vinegar)

1) Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Adjust ingredients to taste. Start with a smaller amount of an ingredient, and increase as you test it–I love a full flavored, tangy, creamy dressing. 

2) Blend or process until smooth and everything is incorporated. 

3) Store in a glass canning jar or other air tight container. Chill in the fridge. 

Enjoy and get creative!

Categories
Keto Recipes

Keto Gelato: Best Fat Bomb Ever

 

Are you on Keto and do you dream of Velvety Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato? Or are you so sick of other “fat bombs?” You will LOVE this velvety Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato! There is not better way to use 15 egg yolks and 6 cups of heavy whipping cream! I promise it is so worth it! AND it is perfect for summertime. This batch will make enough so you can have gelato on hand when you need creamy froszen dessert. You can also eat it chilled, not frozen, as a rich mousse or pudding that just satisfies that hankering for a decadent dessert that doesn’t taste Keto-forced, if you know what I mean. A little goes a long way…and this is coming from someone who could polish off a whole tub of ice cream before starting Keto and getting my hormones balances, burning fat, and feeling satiated after eating rather than being OBSESSED with food…AND shedding pounds of fate!!! How about Gelato? Um, yes please!

 

When I think of gelato, I FONDLY think of the gelato I had in Lahina on the Hawaiian island Maui, a hot day in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, or the gelato we had on a freezing day in Vail, CO. Freezing or not, gelato in a warm indoor french cafe was magnifique! I’ve had gelato just about everywhere I travel, including stay-cations I’ve spent touring the Strip here in Vegas. 

Only the Hawaiian Coconut Pudding Gelato, better known as Haupia, actually stands out as memorable in terms of the gelato itself. I’ve had plenty of my favorite flavors at various locations, and while the gelato is always yummy, the actual gelato never stand out as memorable.

If you are familiar with Marcy’s Ice Cream & Candy Store in Torrance CA, which is quaint ma and pop shop in the South Bay of LA that rocked locals by closing around 2010, then you KNOW how dand good their Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream was. I haven’t been able to quelch my Marcy’s Choc PB fix since the last time I was there before they closed their doors forever. The closest I have gotten is Golden Spoons Chocolate Peanut Butter frozen yogurt. Not even 31 Flavor’s or any other store bought tub of Chocolate Peanut Butter can come clase. This may seem like blasphemy to some of you, but it is my reality…UNTIL I made this gelato!!!

The funny thing is that for at least a month straight after we got back from our trip to CO for Christmas, my husband would bring up getting this new gelato and ice cream machine almost DAILY! To say I was getting irritated is putting it mildly. First of all, between the two of us before getting married, we had two ice cream machines that were very similar and I used mine maybe twice. It simply did not make the making ice cream experience memorable for me, and I had mine since 2000. Hence it did not get used, and hence I was not keen on getting yet another ice cream machine promising gelato as well. We just got rid of both of our previous ice cream makers not too long ago. Then one day he came home with said ice cream and gelato maker in hand, much to my immediate displeasure…only to commence frequent, though restrained, pleas as to when I was going to make gelato. Grrrr….not that I already had a full plate, heck my plate is always over flowing!!!

The closer Valentine’s Day got, my icey-gelato-making-heart melted, and I couldn’t think of a better present for my husband to show my love for him than to give in to his frequent pleas for homemade gelato; it mean it was what he had been asking me to do for almost 6 weeks straight. Then the research started, because yo, I CANNOT just simply make gelato on the first recipe I come across, which happened to be the recipe booklet that came with the Cuisinart Cool Creations Ice Cream Maker. I read tons of recipes, and there is a certain foundation or formula to each variation of recipes. Once I get a grasp on the similarities in each one, I can decipher what I can do to start “playing around” and making my own custom, and memorable recipe that I will love and go back to every time.

I cannot tell you why Marcy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream popped into my head as I researched recipes, other than through the multitude of recipes I saw a ton of chocolate gelatos, which I am not drawn to straight up chocolate ice cream or gelato, but my husband is. However, dang it, if I am gonna be the one to make it, I sure want to be one of the ones to enjoy the fruits of my labors.

So. Chocolate Peanut Butter it is…and we are not talking chocolate from cocoa powder either. I find cocoa powder has a chalky chocolate taste I have an aversion to and can tell right away if it is the main, or only, chocolate ingredient used in something I eat. We are going for the real deal, high quality chocolate I use time after time, Ghirardelli because I can get it at my local Costco in bulk. The only question remained is what type of chocolate do I use?

The dark chocolate that my husband prefers over all other types? Milk chocolate that pairs well with peanut butter? Or the middle of the road semi-sweet? I can assure there really is not a wrong choice here, because each type of chocolate chip will change the flavor profile just slightly to momick the chocolate chosen. If you prefer dark, use dark. If you prefer milk, use milk chocolate chips. Use whatever your taste buds fancy. I was tending towards the dark chocolate, because as you can see in the picture to the right of our gelato in Vail, CO, my husband goes for the triple chocolate and cookies and cream variety, while I go for the exotic fruity scoops. Not only do I love this photo for the memory of it, but the irony that despite it being a ridiculously cold but clear and stunning day in Vail the first thing we got was gelato! Cracks me up everytime.

“Life’s Uncertain. Eat dessert first.” 

    Bloomy

Do you see how gorgeous the gelato presentations are? It’s almost as beautiful as the scenery that day walking around the Vail town center. Ahhh, it is so fun to be momentarily transported back to Vail through these pictures. I hope you get a moment to live vicariously through them in a delicious moment of escaping your current reality. I have to point out the itty bitty taped up sign warning all patrons that they are limited to ONE sample. Really? REALLY? I mean, ok, I can see that would get pretty tedious and irritating to those waiting to be served…but really? Oh, and I must tell you the final chocolate decision that ended my internal debate…semi-sweet. Yes, I went with semi-sweet because I really didn’t want to go for the sharpness of dark chocolate having the memories, and hence cravings, for Marcy’s Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream strongly present in my psyche at that moment, AND I felt the milk chocolate would be a bit too sweet for what I was going for. Too sweet as in you’ve had one or two too many Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and the pleasure is override by the sickeningly sweet aftertaste. Yes, there is such a thing as too many. One last thought, gelato is a frozen custard so it is richer than ice cream, and doesn’t have the same crystallization when frozen so it is softer than ice cream. Because it is so rich, the point is to savour the heavenly, velvety, frozen confection in a reasonable serving at one time. That is why the gelato cups you get are customarily smaller than what is available at most ice cream shops.   

One final thought, I LOVE this ice cream/gelato/frozen yogurt machine!!! SO much so I take back all my goals and immediate irritation when my husband first got this beauty. I didn’t know how amazing it was until I made the Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato, which I did more out of the giving spirit of Valentine’s Day to show my love knowing this is something he REALLY REALLY wanted that I did do give this machine a go. I was not interested after my previous ice cream maker experiences..at all! This machine is a dream, and seriously makes me want to stand over the stove stirring the custard base for the 15-20 minutes it takes to make more gelato. I do really need, and now can’t wait for the right time, to make both ice cream and frozen yogurt on this puppy. It has a larger capacity, which always irked me about the older versions, and digital controls with automatic shut off timers that obnoxiously beep when done so I don’t ever forget to go get before it melts again…I hate wasted efforts especially with how busy I get multi-taking on the regular. You definitely want to transfer the completed gelato to an airtight container, and then place in the freezer; I do not recommend putting the machine tub WITH the gelato in the freezer. Ya, ask me how I know that bit of information! 😉 The last thing I recommend doing is cleaning out the machine’s freezer bowl and placing back into the freezer to be ready and waiting for your next frozen delight hankering!

This machine is so easy to use! 

Velvety Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato

Are you ready to have premium gelato at home? Without the crowds? Without the retail markup? If you have a hankering for a satisfying serving of frozen custard that is ready and waiting for you at a moment’s notice in your own freezer, then this is recipe for you. Hold on to your taste buds, because this gelato will give you an off the charts, food-gasmic response. If you love gelato, but haven’t had a specific flavor that stands out and is memorable, this will definitely be a recipe you go back to every time…unless you have a peanut allergy…and in that case, omit the peanut butter all together and load up on the dark, milk, and semi-sweet chocolate chips to make a Triple Chocolate variation on this gelato.

15 egg yolks

6 c heavy whipping cream

 1 1/2 c erythritol, or preferred sugar substitute

 

1 T Himalayan pink salt

1 c semi-sweet stevia chocolate chips

2 T vanilla

1 c creamy sugar free peanut butter

1) Add 3 c cream-reserve the rest, and the sugar substitute to a saucepan (a thicker pan is best to avoid scorching), and give it a quick wisk. Simmer over med heat, stirring constantly until the sugar substitute disolves and it is hot, but do not let boil. 

2) In a sturdy bowl, I recommend a 8 cup glass measuring cup, wisk your egg yolks. Whisk in a 1/2 c of the hot dairy to the egg yolks; this tempers them to avoid curdling.  Whisk in the remaining hot dairy mix at 1/2 c increments until combined. 

3) Pour back into the sauce pan. Cook over low heat for about 15-20 minutes, constantly stirring, or until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the custard to boil to avoid curdling.  

4) Stir in salt, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. Stir until creamy and completely combined.  

5) Pour into a large bowl, add the remaining 3 c cream, and stir until completely smooth and combined.

6) Place a film of plastic wrap on the surface of the custard and securely around the bowl to prevent a skin forming on the custard mix as it completely chills.

7) Chill for 4-6 hours, or over night. *Once chilled, it is perfectly good to eat as custard, or pudding.* You want the custard mix to be  completely chilled before adding to the ice cream/gelato making machine. I recommend this one for its large capacity, and easy programming.  

8) Pour the chilled mix into the set up ice cream maker’s freezer bowl, set on the gelato setting, and forget it for 30 min. Enjoy your velvety custom frozen custard!

Keto Pancakes