The ketogenic diet, often just called “keto,” involves sticking to foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in fat – somewhat similar to the Atkins diet and other low-carb efforts. The theory behind this diet is that by drastically cutting your intake of carbohydrates, your body enters the metabolic state of ketosis.
Generally, it takes about three days to a week of ketogenic eating to get your body into a state of ketosis. Once your body is in this state, it is better able to burn fat for energy, instead of the glucose that becomes of broken down carbs. This means that not only are you burning the fat you’re eating, you’re also burning some of the stored fat your body has been holding onto. Ketosis also helps your body turn fat into ketones in your liver, which provide energy to your brain.
There is a simple urine test that can tell you when you’ve entered a state of ketosis. The ketone strip test measures the level of ketone bodies in your urine. If the concentration is high enough, you’ll know that you’ve successfully entered ketosis. You can also tell from a number of physical changes, including increased alertness, better sleep, and a decreased appetite, as well as a stronger smell to your breath and urine.
Now, your goal is to stay in nutritional ketosis all the time. After four to eight weeks of steady ketosis, your body becomes fat-adapted. The glycogen stores in your muscles and liver will decrease, you’ll carry less water weight, and you’ll notice increased muscle endurance and higher energy levels. Once you have achieved this state, you will be able to slightly increase your net carbohydrate intake and still maintain ketosis.
- What are the types of ketogenic diets?
- Where did it come from?
- What foods can I eat on this diet?
- What foods should I avoid?
- What are the health benefits of a ketogenic diet?
- One: a ketogenic diet suppresses appetite.
- Two: a ketogenic diet promotes healthy weight loss.
- Three: a ketogenic diet helps eliminate belly fat.
- Four: a ketogenic diet helps prevent heart disease.
- Five: a ketogenic diet enhances women’s health.
- Six: a ketogenic diet reduces blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Seven: a ketogenic diet improves eye health.
- Eight: a ketogenic diet can help treat metabolic syndrome.
- Nine: a ketogenic diet builds muscle and improves endurance.
- Ten: a ketogenic diet can help treat brain disorders.
- Eleven: a ketogenic diet can help fight some types of cancer.
- Twelve: a ketogenic diet decreases inflammation.
- Thirteen: a ketogenic diet improves sleep and energy levels.
- Fourteen: a ketogenic diet helps control uric acid levels.
- Fifteen: a ketogenic diet improves gastrointestinal health.
- What should I keep in mind when starting this diet?
- How can I get started?
- Keto Crepes (adapted from this recipe)
- Berry Syrup Topping (adapted from this recipe)
- Dairy-free Coconut Whipped Cream (adapted from this recipe)
- Low-carb Cinnamon Granola (adapted from this recipe)
- Pulled Pork and Coleslaw Sandwich (adapted from this recipe)
- Fried Pizza with Mozzarella and Pesto (adapted from this recipe)
- Keto Mac and Cheese (adapted from this recipe)
- Coconut Lime Steak Dinner (adapted from this recipe)
What are the types of ketogenic diets?
There are a few different versions of this diet, but they all follow similar principles – less carbohydrates, more healthy fats. Most studies of the ketogenic diet have been conducted on participants following the standard diet, which is why that version is more frequently recommended.
- Standard ketogenic diet: low-carb (five per cent), moderate-protein (20 per cent), high-fat (75 per cent).
- Cyclical ketogenic diet: a series of ketogenic days combined with higher-carb refeeds, like five days of low-carb followed by two days of increased carbohydrate intake.
- Targeted ketogenic diet: increased intake of carbohydrates specifically added around workouts to enhance performance.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: low-carb (five per cent), higher-protein (60 per cent), high-fat (60 per cent).
Where did it come from?
Originally, the ketogenic diet was developed as a mainstream therapy to treat epilepsy without the use of pharmaceutical drugs – to reduce the limitations of the non-mainstream use of fasting as an effective treatment. The diet did find a resurgence as epilepsy control management, but has also become a widely-embraced solution for people looking for healthy weight loss and a sustainable lifestyle choice.
More and more, research is showing that large quantities of carbs are considerably more harmful to our bodies than we had realized, while most of the fats we try to avoid are actually quite healthy and essential. As we start to realize this, a nutritional revolution is underway – with ketogenic eating at its core.
What foods can I eat on this diet?
There are tons of great things you can eat while following a ketogenic diet – there’s no reason to think of this as a diet where you might feel deprived of delicious foods. You can enjoy a wide range of foods, and might even discover some new things that you will love.
Try to base the majority of your meals around the following foods, maintaining a good balance of all of them throughout the day. Stick to whole, single ingredient foods whenever possible to ensure you’re eating the most nutritious options available.
- Meat, including beef, steak, ham, bacon, sausage, turkey, and chicken.
- Fatty fish, like tuna, salmon, trout, and mackerel.
- Eggs, specifically pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
- Butter and cream, particularly grass-fed if you can find it.
- Cheese, like cheddar, cream, goat, mozzarella, or blue. Stick to unprocessed cheeses.
- Nuts and seeds, like walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
- Healthy oils, focusing on avocado oil, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Avocados, either whole or made into fresh guacamole.
- Low-carb veggies, which includes most green vegetables, onion, peppers, tomatoes, etc.
- Herbs and spices, like salt and pepper and most fresh herbs.
What foods should I avoid?
Ketogenic diets limit the over-consumption of carbs. The following foods should be either reduced or eliminated when following a ketogenic diet.
- Sugary foods, like sodas, fruit juices, smoothies, candy, etc.
- Grains and starches, like rice, pasta, cereal, and other wheat-based products.
- Fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.
- Beans and legumes, including peas, lentils, kidney beans, and chickpeas.
- Tubers and root vegetables, like carrots, potatoes, parsnips, etc.
- Low-fat or diet products, which are highly processed and generally high in carbs.
- Condiments and sauces that contain added sugars
- Unhealthy fats, like mayonnaise, margarine, and processed vegetable oils.
- Alcohol, which can throw your body out of ketosis due to a high carb content.
- Sugar-free diet foods generally contain sugar alcohols, which can sometimes affect ketone levels and are highly processed.
What are the health benefits of a ketogenic diet?
Following a ketogenic diet can provide tons of important health benefits, particularly for people who are prone to heart issues, skin problems, or brain disorders. However, everyone can benefit from incorporating a ketogenic diet into their lifestyle, for a variety of valuable reasons. These are just some of the benefits you will enjoy by sticking to foods that are approved components of a ketogenic diet.
One: a ketogenic diet suppresses appetite.
It’s a lot easier to make healthier food choices and eat smaller portions when you’re not craving large amounts of calorie-rich foods. Although you might initially struggle with urges to indulge in carbs and sugar as you try to push your body into a state of ketosis, once you’ve achieved this goal you will benefit from natural, healthy appetite suppression.
When your body is in this state, when you’re eating and burning larger amounts of fat, your body releases a hormone that triggers a feeling of fullness. Eating a higher carb diet actually blocks this hormone, and it gets released in significantly lower quantities – which might be why you just want to keep eating more and more carbohydrates.
Two: a ketogenic diet promotes healthy weight loss.
Obviously, the appetite suppression produced by achieving a state of ketosis can make a huge difference in helping you lose weight, but there’s more to it than that. Ketosis also means you’re burning more fat – both the fat you’re consuming in higher amounts, and the fat that’s already stored in your body.
Since most of the foods you’re eating on a ketogenic diet are whole foods that are full of nutrients, your body will be functioning effectively and efficiently. This keeps your metabolism up and helps you see weight loss results much quicker than if you were simply cutting calories without worrying about nutritional content.
Three: a ketogenic diet helps eliminate belly fat.
While all excess fat is troublesome, having excess fat around your abdomen is even more dangerous - abdominal obesity can increase your chances of heart disease and insulin resistance. The worst part is that this stubborn fat can accumulate quickly, and be incredibly difficult to get rid of.
Thankfully, ketosis can help your body burn through this stored fat in a much more effective way than any other diet, or exercise alone. If you stick to your ketogenic diet and work in some high intensity interval exercise on a regular basis, you’ll be able to watch your belly fat melt away.
Four: a ketogenic diet helps prevent heart disease.
This diet can impact your heart health in a number of different ways, helping to protect you from developing heart disease. Triglycerides, fat molecules that can be a strong risk factor for heart disease, have proven to dramatically decrease in patients that have cut carbohydrates – while patients following low-fat diets can sometimes show higher levels of trigylcerides.
Ketogenic eating raises the levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL) in your blood – the “good” cholesterol that help lower your risk of heart disease – by upping your intake of healthy fats. When this is combined with a lower triglyceride count, you can see major improvements to your heart health.
Low density lipoproteins (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol, can be reduced with a low-carb diet, which decreases your risk of heart attack. But it’s not just that the level is reduced – a ketogenic diet can actually make the LDL particles larger, which scientists say lowers your risk of heart disease.
Reducing carbs can also contribute to a significantly reduced blood pressure, which decreases your risk of not only heart disease, but also stroke, kidney failure, and more. Hypertension is a huge risk factor for a number of conditions, and you’ll be able to get your blood pressure down well within the normal range by eating a ketogenic diet.
Five: a ketogenic diet enhances women’s health.
Women who suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can cause a number of hormonal ranges in women, and can even contribute to infertility. A pilot study conducted on women with PCOS showed improvements to body weight, fasting insulin, and hormone ratios – and even helped two participants get pregnant.
The hormone stabilization and fertility boosting effects of the ketogenic diet won’t just help women with PCOS, though – any women who suffers from infrequent or prolonged mentstrual periods, acne, obesity, and insulin resistance can benefit from this type of eating.
Six: a ketogenic diet reduces blood sugar and insulin levels.
When your body is in a state of ketosis, your main energy source is coming from fat – not sugar. Ongoing studies have shown that because of this, a ketogenic diet can help lower blood glucose levels and even reduce your body’s need for insulin. This small change in the way your body stores and processes energy can have a major impact on symptoms of diabetes.
Generally, because carbohydrates turn to sugar once they’re inside your body, they can lead to spikes in blood glucose levels when you eat larger quantities. If you have diabetes or have blood sugar that is usually high, it can be dangerous to consume too many carbs. Switching your primary energy source to fat is a perfect way to manage this condition without resorting to medications.
Seven: a ketogenic diet improves eye health.
Not only does lower blood sugar help ease the symptoms of diabetes, or even prevent the onset of this disease. Specifically, high levels of blood glucose can cause a detrimental impact on your eyesight. In more serious cases, this can even lead to a higher risk of developing cataracts.
By helping to control the levels of sugar in your blood and increasing your body’s insulin resistance, eating a ketogenic diet can keep your eyes functioning effectively. For diabetes sufferers especially, this type of eating can be a very important tool in fighting off potential vision loss.
Eight: a ketogenic diet can help treat metabolic syndrome.
The combination of symptoms and risk factors that make up what is known as metabolic syndrome can all be curbed by adopting a ketogenic diet. There are a number of ways that you can fight things like abdominal obesity, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes, but what a ketogenic diet offers is the ability to do all these without losing significant muscle mass.
By sparing muscle loss, a low-carb diet ensures that your body is able to maintain a healthier metabolism – keeping your systems functioning efficiently and helping improve your overall well-being.
Nine: a ketogenic diet builds muscle and improves endurance.
In fact, eating a ketogenic diet does more than just prevent muscle loss – ketones can even promote muscle gain. Over the years, more and more bodybuilders, weightlifters, and athletes have been using this approach to nutrition to help them put on muscle without gaining a ton of fat.
There’s also research to support the theory that ketogenic eating can enhance performance and improve endurance. Once athletes have reached a state of ketosis and are completely fat-adapted, they show significant improvements to both physical and mental performance when compared to a typical carbohydrate heavy diet.
Ten: a ketogenic diet can help treat brain disorders.
Because ketogenic diets were initially used as a treatment for epilepsy, it makes sense that one of the health benefits of adopting this type of eating would be improved brain function. There is significant evidence to support increased memory and cognition among Alzheimer’s patients, as well as individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Studies have shown that ketogenic eating can potentially treat a host of conditions, including autism, narcolepsy, depression, and even Multiple Sclerosis. For individuals who aren’t suffering mental health issues, neurological conditions, or other brain disorders, there are still benefits to be gained. Ketogenic diets are reported to bring enhanced focus and mental clarity, as well as fewer, less intense migraines.
Eleven: a ketogenic diet can help fight some types of cancer.
According to an article published in 2014, the ketone bodies produced by a fat-adapted body cannot be used effectively as energy by cancer cells. The paper even states that “ketones inhibit the proliferation and viability of cultured tumor cells.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean that if you’re eating a ketogenic diet you’ll be able to skip the chemotherapy treatments, but it’s promising research. Either way, by eating a ketogenic diet, you’ll be giving your body more of what it needs to fight the formation of cancer cells and potentially even keep tumors from growing.
Twelve: a ketogenic diet decreases inflammation.
Acne, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, psoriasis, eczema – these conditions are just some of the inflammatory diseases that could benefit from a ketogenic diet. Ketons can help curb the body’s inflammatory response and prevent many of the symptoms associated with these conditions from becoming debilitating or chronic.
More research is being done to see how this kind of eating can treat these conditions, but the effect a ketogenic diet has on decreasing inflammation in the body makes this diet an extremely healthy choice for anyone looking to achieve improved wellness.
Thirteen: a ketogenic diet improves sleep and energy levels.
Even after just a few days, new ketogenic diets have noticed higher energy levels and more restful sleep. By providing your body with a more efficient, effective source of fuel, you’re making all your tissues and systems work better and easier – giving your body more energy to spend on other things.
Research is still being done to determine how ketogenic eating improves sleep, but preliminary studies have shown that this type of eating actually decreases the amount of time we spend in REM sleep – more time is spent on slow-wave sleep patterns. It’s possible that this different kind of sleep could be more restful.
Fourteen: a ketogenic diet helps control uric acid levels.
An elevated level of uric acid can lead to kidney stones, one of the most unpleasant health conditions anyone can experience. Initially, this diet will raise uric acid levels, but after the first month of ketogenic eating, you’ll benefit from improved kidney function and a reduced risk of developing gout or kidney stones.
Fifteen: a ketogenic diet improves gastrointestinal health.
Anyone who suffers from acid reflux, heartburn, bloating, or gas would do well to adopt a ketogenic type of eating. Dr. Eric Westman of Duke University said that “by taking away the carbohydrate in the food, I can pretty much fix every gastrointestinal problem that affects people today.”
In fact, eating a low-carb diet tackles some of the root problems of these conditions – inflammation, bacterial issues, and the body’s autoimmune response. Most acid reflux and heartburn stems from grain-based or sugary foods, and carbohydrates are one of the primary ingredients for gallstones. Limiting consumption of these foods, therefore, offers a reduced risk of developing these extremely unpleasant gastrointestinal issues.
What should I keep in mind when starting this diet?
If you’re considering making the switch to ketogenic eating in order to take advantage of the many health benefits that this diet can provide, that’s great news! You are well on your way to achieving improved well-being and greater physical and mental fitness – these incredible benefits can make a big difference in your life.
However, there are a few things that are important to remember for beginners who are just starting out on their journey to ketosis.
You’re going to have to track your meals.
While calorie counting is not a part of the ketogenic diet, sticking to this meal plan will require you to keep track of the carbs you’ve consumed – making sure you stick between 20 to 60 grams per day. Additionally, you’ll need to figure out how much protein you’ll need to eat, which is generally calculated based on your height, gender, activity level, and your ideal body weight.
Too much protein and too many carbs can throw your body out of ketosis, so it’s important to get your ratios right. The rest of your nutritional intake should come from fats – and you’ll know how much of that to eat once you’ve figured out the right balance of carbs and protein.
It seems intimidating at first, but you’ll soon learn to understand macronutrient percentages and it won’t be a big deal at all. It’s just a bit of an adjustment to make, especially when you’re used to eating without really thinking about what you’re putting in your mouth.
There are even apps you can use to input all the food you eat, and they will break down the percentages for you so you can clearly see what you need to eat more of or less of to achieve the correct balance. However, after a few weeks of ketogenic eating, you’ll be familiar enough with the ratios to work them out in your head.
Cutting down on carbs is HARD.
There’s no getting around it. Bread, pasta, crackers – these are some of the most delicious foods out there, and purging them from your diet is not an easy thing to do. Sugar is extremely addictive, and you can expect your first few days of ketogenic eating to be a bit of a struggle. However, ketosis is a great way to suppress your appetite, so this will get much easier with time.
Some things that will make it less painful in the meantime are clearing all the high-carb foods out of your cupboards so you don’t have to face the temptation, and trying to incorporate some of your favorite lower-carb options whenever you can. Remember, you do still need some carbs in your diet – so make the most of them.
Luckily, your new diet includes lots of fats – meaning cheese! You’ll still be able to enjoy variations of your favorite comfort foods, and all the healthy fats will keep you feeling satisfied and full.
Drink lots (and lots) of water.
One great side effect of eating low-carb is that your body doesn’t hang onto excess water like it used to – but this means that you could end up feeling a bit dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water to replace what’s being lost. A good rule of thumb is eight glasses of water a day, but also just listen to your body. If you feel thirsty, get yourself a drink.
Also, if you notice any headaches or muscle cramps, think about increasing your intake of minerals like salt, magnesium, and potassium. These are often lost with excess water.
You’re going to spend more time in the kitchen.
Since a ketogenic diet involves eating more whole, real foods, it’s going to require a bit more work than you might be used to. If you’re new to cooking, this is a great way to learn. You’ll also probably need to spend more time planning meals in advance, especially in the beginning as you adjust to your new lifestyle. This helps you buy the right foods when you’re at the store, and makes it easier for you to stick to your diet when you know in advance what you’re going to be eating that day.
It’s also a great opportunity to build some better, healthier habits. If you usually grab a coffee and a bagel on your way to work, get up a half hour early and make your own coffee while making yourself some scrambled eggs, instead. Not only will you feel better, you’ll save a little bit of money that you can put toward a healthy reward, like a new blender or juicer.
It’s a lifestyle change.
That might be an obvious statement, but it’s something you need to remember if you hope to be successful in achieving a state of ketosis. It’s not like a normal “diet,” where you can cheat every once in a while and indulge on the cookies or potato chips that someone brought to the office.
You’re going to need to think ahead about the social situations that you might come across that will involve tempting foods, and come up with an appropriate strategy to handle them in a way that works for you. You can still go out for drinks with your friends after work, but order a water and enjoy a nice steak and a salad instead of having a beer and nachos.
How can I get started?
When you’re used to eating a diet with plenty of carbohydrates, it can be a bit overwhelming to try and make the switch to ketogenic eating. However, you can use these suggested recipes to inspire you to come up with some ideas of your own. Keep in mind that you should be sticking to whole, relatively unprocessed foods to make the best out of your new diet – and seeking out grass-fed meats and dairy products whenever possible, to limit your intake of grains.
Use the list of recommended ketogenic foods and make a trip to the grocery store, then head to the kitchen to get started with these great keto-friendly recipes. As you learn more about eating on a keto diet, you’ll find yourself coming up with tons of ways you can create ketogenic versions of your favorite meals.
Keto Crepes (adapted from this recipe)
2 tablespoons of almond flour
1 tablespoon of flaxseed
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon of liquid coconut oil
½ cup of water
+ additional coconut oil, for cooking
1. Pulse flour, flaxseed, and eggs together in a food processor.
2. Add melted coconut oil and water and continue pulsing. Blend thoroughly.
3. Over medium-low heat, warm a bit of coconut oil in a medium frying pan.
4. Pour a thin layer of batter onto the pan, spreading evenly to reach the edges.
5. Cook the crepe until you can see small bubbles bursting on the surface, then flip and cook the other side. This should take about 5 minutes, total.
6. Transfer the cooked crepe to a plate, and continue making crepes until the batter is gone.
7. Top with berry syrup and coconut whipped cream (recipes to follow).
Berry Syrup Topping (adapted from this recipe)
1 large bag of frozen mixed berries (16-20 ounces)
1 cup of apple juice (no sugar added)
½ tablespoon of raw honey
1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
¼ cup of water
1. Over medium heat, bring berries, apple juice, and honey to a boil in a saucepan.
2. Turn down the heat and let simmer for ten minutes or so. Let fruit soften completely.
3. Add ground flaxseed to water in a small bowl.
4. Add flaxseed and water to fruit mixture and turn the heat back up to high. Whisk constantly, watch as the sauce gets thicker and starts to appear glossy.
5. Let sauce thicken further as it cools, for approximately ten minutes.
6. Use sauce immediately, or store in the refrigerator for no more than three days.
Dairy-free Coconut Whipped Cream (adapted from this recipe)
1 can of full fat coconut milk (13 ounces)
1 tablespoon of raw honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
1 pinch of sea salt
1. Chill both the coconut milk and a metal bowl before starting.
2. Take the coconut fat from the can and put it into the chilled bowl, storing the remaining liquid in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
3. Mix in the honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Whip them together with a hand blender, until the mixture appears fluffy and light.
5. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours.
Low-carb Cinnamon Granola (adapted from this recipe)
1 cup of sliced almonds
1 cup of unsweetened flaked coconut
½ cup of chopped pecans
½ cup of chopped walnuts
¼ cup of pepitas
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of raw honey
2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Spread parchment paper over a baking sheet.
3. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl before spreading it out across the baking sheet. Try to make one even layer.
4. Bake about 10 minutes, or until the mixture starts to brown.
5. Remove from oven, mix thoroughly, and serve in a bowl with cold, unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
6. Store leftovers in a ziplock bag with a paper towel, to absorb any extra moisture.
Pulled Pork and Coleslaw Sandwich (adapted from this recipe)
6 to 8 pork chops
3 large jalapeno peppers, with seeds removed
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ onion, diced
¼ cup of tomato paste
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1½ tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons of cumin
2 teaspoons of sea salt
¾ cup of broth
3 bay leaves, whole
1 teaspoon of cloves, whole
1 package of coleslaw mix
1 cup of shredded carrot
½ cup of chopped cilantro
½ cup of fresh lime juice
4 jalapenos, diced
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
+ salt and pepper, to taste
1. Combine all ingredients for pulled pork into a crockpot. Cook on low for at least 8 hours.
2. Pull pork chops apart, putting the meat into a container.
3. Mix together all coleslaw ingredients, making sure the dressing thoroughly coats the cabbage and carrot.
4. Spoon some pork and coleslaw onto a lettuce leaf or any other keto “bread” of your choosing.
5. Any remaining salad and meat can be stored in the fridge.
Fried Pizza with Mozzarella and Pesto (adapted from this recipe)
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1.5 cups of mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup of tomato sauce
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup of asiago cheese
2 tablespoons of pesto
+ pizza and Italian seasonings, to taste
1. Preheat broiler to 500 degrees F.
2. Using a non-stick pan, warm olive oil over medium heat and let it spread across the pan.
3. When the oil completely covers the pan, add the mozzarella. It will begin sizzling immediately. Spread the cheese to all edges of the pan, like a pizza crust.
4. Cook for about five minutes, until the edges start to darken.
5. After cheese has started to brown, add the tomato sauce and spread it evenly across the cheese.
6. Cook for another minute or so, then use a spatula to try and unstick the cheese from the pan.
7. Once the cheese is free, slide it off onto a foil-lined pan, then sprinkle on your grated cheese and pizza seasonings.
8. Finish with pesto and asiago before putting it in the oven.
9. Take the pizza out after a minute or two and let it cool. The cheese crust should harden even more.
10. Cut into individual servings and enjoy while it’s still warm.
Keto Mac and Cheese (adapted from this recipe)
1 pound of ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey)
4 cups of cooked vegetable noodles (zucchini, spaghetti squash)
½ cup of heavy cream
4 large eggs
½ cup of grated asiago cheese
2 cups of grated gouda cheese
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
1 tablespoon of cumin
+ salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Brown ground meat in a skillet. Remove from heat when cooked, and set aside.
3. Whisk together eggs and heavy cream in a large bowl. Once the mixture is smooth, add cumin, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper.
4. Stir in spaghetti squash, asiago, and half the gouda cheese.
5. Add cooked ground meat.
6. Transfer to skillet and top with remaining gouda.
7. Bake 45 minutes or so, until the casserole is bubbling around the edges.
8. Remove from oven and allow 15 minutes to cool before serving.
Coconut Lime Steak Dinner (adapted from this recipe)
½ cup of melted coconut oil
zest of one lime
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon of raw honey
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds of steak, whole or cut into sections
+ salt and pepper, to taste
1. Combine coconut oil, lime juice, zest, honey, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
2. Rub marinade on steak. Keep in mind that the coconut oil will harden.
3. Allow meat to sit at room temperature, marinating for about twenty minutes.
4. Transfer steak to a large skillet. Spoon marinade into the pan, coating the steak.
5. Sear steak on medium-high heat, making sure both sides are cooked equally. Cook steak to your preference.
6. Serve with salad or vegetables of your choosing.