As if our food requirements weren't complicated enough, my husband recently decided to try the keto diet. So far, my favorite super keto recipe is by far fathead pizza.
Why keto you ask? Primarily for weight loss, which (spoiler alert) has totally worked for him so far. After he was laid off last month, Mr. Meaty decided he'd work on that belly he gained from years of sedentary desk work.
Of course, keto is all over the place these days and we've had some friends and acquaintances who reported success from the diet. So he gave it a shot and I have been eating more low carb as well by association.
I've lost a couple of pounds, but I didn't really start out NEEDing to lose weight, so there's that. He's lost more than 20 pounds, which is insane. Granted, we've both also been exercising more often, too.
Here's what our average day looks like on keto/low carb (most days I end up at the keto carb guidelines by happenstance, but I don't go crazy over the number).
Breakfast: cheese omelets
Lunch: Salad with protein toppings
Dinner: Some sort of keto type recipe like fathead pizza, chicken and vegetables, etc.
For dinner ideas, I really like the Keto Instant Pot cookbook from the Two Sleevers blogger. It's adventurous but not difficult. I already had her Indian Instant Pot cookbook and love it, so it was an easy choice to grab this one.
It's been interesting for sure. I didn't have too far to go on the carbs front, I thought. What, with the only grain I really eat being rice. But it's surprising how many carbs are in things you wouldn't think about. The first awful realization was fruit. There's a lot of carbs in fruit. Now, I don't avoid fruit. If I want it, I eat it. It's good for me, so there. But if I were doing true keto, I'd have to cut out or drastically reduce fruit.
And then there's the veggies! Certain veggies are actually pretty high in net carbs (regular carbs minus the fiber).
And here's the toughest one (for me)---beans. I've had them once or twice since starting this little foray. But the reality is that beans are stupid high in carbs and not as high in fiber as I expected. I pretty much only have them with Mr. Meaty and the kiddos are having meat that I don't want to attempt. I miss them. I'll be glad when they're back.
I think the best parts of this diet have been completely removing added sugar (yes, even agave and maple syrup,which is pretty much all I eat normally) and the focus (for me, at least) on healthy veggie-based meals. Vegetables are awesome.
In the rush to get dinner on the table, I (used to) often resort to rice or rice noodles to accompany veggie sauces or smaller amounts of veggies and meat. Not relying on those starchy bases makes it easy to have full vegetable and protein meals. It's likely much healthier to eat more vegetables (and sometimes a bit of meat) than it is to serve it over a pile of rice.
For whatever reason (more healthy fats and nutrients perhaps?), my joints feel better. My trick shoulder and my knees have never been better. I did suffer a few days of what people refer to as keto flu (muscle fatigue and headache, which was weird because although I often have migraines I rarely have "normal" headaches), but it wasn't terrible.
I also haven't been drinking much alcohol since most of my favorite mixers are out. If I want alcohol, I go with flavored (with essential oils sometimes) bubbly water made with my Soda Stream as my mixer. I like lemon/lime vitality EOs best so far. Though orange is good, too.
But on to the pizza! We've tried several keto pizzas, including cauliflower crust and a primarily coconut flour crust. And then there was a weird egg-based crust that was strangely wet and weird. It was more like flat quiche and it got super odd when it cooled off. All were pizza-like but didn't really cut it entirely as pizza.
We'd heard about fathead pizza, but we don't keep cream cheese on-hand, so we had to wait until we went to Costco to make it happen. Needless to say, we were happy that we got the 6-pack of cream cheese after we first tried the recipe. Fathead pizza was definitely the most similar to regular pizza. It's crispy and chewy at the same time and is the perfect vessel for ooey, gooey cheese and whatever toppings you like (I'm a fan of olives and bacon, personally...and jalapenos if we have them).
6 ounces fresh mozzarella
olives, crispy bacon, etc., if desired
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix your first 6 ounces of mozzarella, the cream cheese and almond flour in a double boiler.
Once melted, add egg, salt and herbs and mix to combine.
Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper.
Remove the top paper and poke fork holes in your crust.
Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes.
Check out this beautiful, crispy crust. Here's the top (soon to become the bottom). Once you've got this beauty done, you flip it, top it with the mozzarella (and toppings, if desired) and pop it back in the oven.:
Here's that extra crispy bottom (soon to be the top):
Take the crust out and flip it over (bottom's up).
Top it with whatever you like (we usually opt for mozzarella and olives, sometimes crispy bacon.
Bake for another 5 minutes.