[su_dropcap style=”simple” size=”2″]I[/su_dropcap] enjoy cooking, but I don’t really enjoy cooking things that require a lot of effort. In general, I want to be able to come home from work and make a meal that takes thirty minutes or less. Over the course of the last few months I’ve experimented with a lot of different recipes, and now I will share my hand-picked favorites with you.
Tools of the Trade
Here are primary tools that I use when making these recipes. I’m not saying that you need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on new kitchen gadgets, these are just my preferred tools.
- Oven and Stove (duh)
- 10″ Cast-iron skillet
- Instant Pot (slow cookers are good too, just require more advanced planning)
- Pizza Stone
- Cheese Grater
- Hand-Emulsion Blender
- Baking Pans
- Coffee Maker
- Knives, bowls, spatulas, spoons, etc.
My Favorite Keto Meals
I struggled with how to lay out a “meal plan” because everyone has different tastes. I decided to break this out into the “types” of meals so that you can pick and choose whatever looks good to you. If you are just starting Keto, I would HIGHLY encourage you to write down what you plan on eating at least three days ahead. Building a meal plan a few days in advance will help to keep you regimented and prevent you from straying into old snacking and eating habits.
Some of these recipes may require that you go out and buy some ingredients that you have not typically had laying around the house. Most, if not all of these are things that you will use again for multiple recipes – but you’ve been warned. One more very important thing is that you need to up your sodium and water intake while in ketosis. If you neglect either of these things, you’ll feel light-headed and miserable. If you’re hungry, drink water first; if you’re still hungry ten minutes later it’s time to eat something fatty.
One last thing; don’t be shy about eating bacon. Between my wife and I, we eat between three to five packages of bacon a week. First off, bacon is delicious. Secondly, its nice and fatty and a few pieces help fill me up for breakfast. If I am feeling ambitious over the weekend, sometimes I will cook a full package at a time and refrigerate the extras. This makes it really easy to reheat these in the microwave for a quick snack. Pro-Tip: Cut the package of bacon in half and you’ll feel like you’re getting more bang for your buck.
- Bulletproof Coffee (see below)
- Leftovers (see dinner below)
- Eating Out
- Slow Cooker & Instant Pot
Sides and Snacks
- Microwavable Cauliflower & Broccoli, covered in butter
- Cheese and Garlic Biscuits
- Breadsticks (Garlic | Italian | Cinnamon)
- Celery and Blue Cheese
- Tuna Salad
- Macadamia Nuts and Almonds
- Sugar Free Jello
A Typical Day of Eating for Me
I no longer stress about what to eat each day because it’s become second nature. I do still find it useful to think a few days ahead just to make sure I have the groceries I need on hand. After I wake up, I start by drinking a glass of water. Then I head to the fridge and start munching on a cheese stick while I set up the coffee maker. If I am feeling really ambitious, I might cook some bacon or reheat the ones I made earlier in the week. Depending on how hungry I feel after that, I’ll make two cups of coffee a few different ways:
- Not hungry: Add two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
- A little hungry: Add one tablespoon of MCT Oil, two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, and a few drops of liquid vanilla stevia
- Pretty Hungry: Add two tablespoons of coconut oil, two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, and a few drops of liquid vanilla stevia
- Really Hungry: Add two tablespoons of KerryGold butter, two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, and a few drops of liquid vanilla stevia
That will typically always hold me over until lunch time. For the first few days of keto, I would recommend bringing in leftovers from the food you made the night before. I like to go out to eat with my coworkers and get out of the office for a bit. My go to places for eating out are:
- Smashburger/ Larkburger/ Five Guys
- Burgers are the easiest food to “make keto” while eating out. Any burger place will let you order without the bun, and some even let you wrap the whole thing in lettuce. Five Guys does the best “lettuce bun” of any burger place
- Whenever possible, try to fatten the burger up with more cheese, bacon, avocado, and mayo
- Qdoba/ Chipotle
- Load up the salad bowls with meat, cheese, queso, sour cream, and guac. Avoid the dressings at both Chipotle and Qdoba, most are high carb
- Pizza Rev/ Mod Pizza/ Noodles and Company
- Salads. At the DIY pizza joints, load up the meats! At Noodles I go with the Chicken Veracruz salad without the crunchy jalapeños
- Pubs and BBQ Joints
- Buffalo Chicken Wings. Make sure to ask ahead whether or not they bread their wings
Eating out for lunch is generally where I have to watch what I am eating more closely. It can be easy to accidentally eat too many carbs without even realizing it because carbs are EVERYWHERE. Once I’m home from work, I’ll make one of the dishes I listed above. If my wife and I go out to eat, I abide by the same rules for dinner as I do for lunch. If I am feeling like a treat, I’ll eat some sugar free Jello. Just before bed I’ll take my supplements and vitamins, and that’s pretty much it!
Once thing you’ll notice is that my day is pretty devoid of snacking. In general, I am just not very hungry in between meals. If I am in a snacking mood, I might eat a few salami or pepperoni; or grab a cheese stick, or a few nuts. You should never feel as if you are starving yourself. If you feel hungry, eat more fat and drink more water. The times when I feel hungry, I know that I did not have enough fat in the previous meal.
Hopefully this helps! Keep calm and keto on!