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Sunday, January 13, 2013

KETO: Spaghetti (Squash), Alfredo, and Pumpkin Cheesecake

As you may know, my husband and I are on a month-long (and then some) Keto-venture to start off the new year in the right direction! The main problem we've faced when attempting to go long-term low-carb is variety in our meals. Low-carb tends to mean that you must be cooking and prepping a lot more - most of that shelf-stable product is full of carbohydrates. So it is ever important to keep variety in your ketogenic diet.

So it is time again for some more of the recipes we have enjoyed!

Keto Meatballs and Spaghetti (Squash)

I have a favorite meatball recipe that I use whether we are doing low-carb or not. It is based off of the Meatball Nirvana recipe on AllRecipes. The only changes I've made to adapt it to Keto are:  remove the bread crumbs and add one egg and replace milk with heavy cream (might be able to try almond or coconut milk).

Meatballs
Ingredients:

1 pound extra lean ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 dash hot pepper sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup heavy cream/water mixture
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg

Instructions:

1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Place the beef into a mixing bowl, and season with salt, onion, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce; mix well. Add the cream, Parmesan cheese, and egg. Mix until evenly blended, then form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs, and place onto a baking sheet.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.

Spaghetti Squash
Ingredients: (these are all estimates - add as much as you need depending on how big the squash is)
1 spaghetti squash
1.5-2 cups of low-sugar spaghetti sauce
0.5 cup Butter
0.25 cup parmesan cheese
Garlic salt to taste

Instructions:
1. Using a sharp knife, poke 10 or more holes in the spaghetti squash and microwave on high for roughly 12 minutes. If you hear a gradually increasing hissing noise from the squash then you should stop the microwave early, because it might pop open (big mess).
2. Carefully cut the squash in half and remove the seeds in the middle.
3. Scrape out the squash innards, which will come out resembling noodles.
4. I like to saute' the noodles in butter before adding the sauce. Cook on medium/high in a big pot (there will be a lot of squash) with the butter, just mixing a bit. Add the garlic salt and the spaghetti sauce. Finally, add parmesan.

Combine these two and you have a lovely high-fat meal loaded with veggies! The spaghetti squash really surprised me with how many "noodles" really come from it. We always have leftovers!

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Keto Chicken Alfredo

For this recipe, I used spaghetti squash again! They were on sale so we thought we'd experiment.

Ingredients: 
3-4 Chicken breasts
Seasoning for chicken breast (basic salt and pepper are always a match)
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 stick of butter
1/3-1/2 cup parmesan
4 ounces of cream cheese
1/4 cup of sour cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1. Cook up some delicious chicken breast in the oven - typically 45 min-1 hour on 350 degrees F (check instructions on the package). Set aside for now.
2. Cook the spaghetti squash as before - poke 10+ holes all over with a sharp knife and microwave on high for 12 minutes.
3. Make the alfredo sauce - melt butter in a pan on medium and add the garlic salt. Mix in the parmesan and cream cheese, followed by the sour cream. The measurements here are all estimates as well. Keep tasting the sauce to make sure it is good. If the sauce looks like it is separating, add more sour cream!
4. Cut up the cooked chicken, add to the spaghetti squash and stir in the alfredo sauce.

We enjoyed this even more than using spaghetti sauce. Additionally, fewer carbs in this sauce than the spaghetti sauce.
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This one is less a recipe, and more of a combination.

Keto Corned Beef (Cauliflower) Hash

Steam up some cauliflower, cut or break it into smaller pieces, and cook it up with the corned beef you can buy at the store sans hash browns.  I like to add onion and sriracha to this to add more flavor. Easy and tasty (if you like corned beef).


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Low-Carb & Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake (from I Breathe... I'm Hungry...)

The only part I skipped in this recipe is the crust - I was all out of coconut flour! Darn! I also cut back the sweetener to about 1/2 cup instead of 3/4.

This was a huge HUGE hit for us. Fall may be over but I don't care! I love pumpkin. This recipe is easy and fantastically tasty! With the fresh made whipped cream on top, it is no different from a regular dessert in my opinion. Fantastic. I will make it again, and I will try to hold off a few days before doing so.

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This doesn't qualify as a recipe, or as "making" anything, but we recently discovered Dove's Sugar Free Chocolate Creme Candy. These are very good! Don't have too many if you are trying to stay in ketosis - I think 5 pieces is a serving size. I would have one in a day, to be safe.


Well I hope everyone is doing well on their resolutions!

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