Nutrition / Recipes

4 Ketogenic Recipes to Keep Your Diet on Track

Eat clean anytime with these four healthy and creative ketogenic diet recipes.

A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.

As a result, over time, the body adapts to using a greater amount of fat than carbs for energy because the liver converts fat into fatty acids and produces ketones, which replace glucose at the primary energy source.

Endurance athletes (like in the 28-Day Keto Challenge) find using fat as their primary fuel beneficial because fat provides more calories for energy than carbs.

Moreover, there usually is a high-energy requirement for long events (90 or more minutes).

Read on to learn more benefits of the ketogenic diet and then add the following ketogenic recipes to your weekly meal prep plans.

Weight Loss and Health Benefits

Physique-minded fitness enthusiasts may use a ketogenic diet to (ironically) shed some extra fat and get more chiseled.

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Following a ketogenic diet may reduce body weight for many reasons—specifically, a reduction in appetite due to higher satiety effect of proteins, effects on appetite-control hormones, and increased lipolysis (the breakdown of fats for energy), according to a 2013 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study.

In addition to performance or weight loss benefits, there are also purported health benefits of a low-carb diet. Thousands have lost weight with the 28-Day Keto Challenge.

A 2015 study published in the journal Nutrients found that a 12-week low-carbohydrate diet is equivalent to or more efficient than a low-fat diet for improving cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Most of these favorable changes were not the result of weight loss but purely the difference in macronutrients, meaning an overweight person can improve their heart health using a low-carbohydrate diet just as well as a low-fat diet.

A low-carbohydrate diet improves the body’s ability to fight inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, a circulation issue that is known to be a precursor to atherosclerosis or clogged arteries.

How many carbs can I eat?

Aim for 50 grams of carbs per day, mostly from non-starchy vegetables, avocados, and nuts, says Martina Slajerova, author of Keto Slow Cooker & One-Pot Meals and The Beginner’s KetoDiet Cookbook.

To get a feel for how adopting a ketogenic diet would work, start by cooking keto-friendly recipes such as the ones below. You can also use these meals if you’re looking to cut some calories for an upcoming vacation, wedding, or athletic event.

Whip up these healthy and delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes to stay lean and ready for action.

Ketogenic Recipes

The following breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert ketogenic recipes are courtesy of the “28-Day Keto Challenge“.

Breakfast: Green Shakshuka

Slajerova says: Traditional shakshuka, an Arabic dish of poached eggs in tomatoes, peppers, and onions, is relatively low in carbs, but it’s not suitable if you’re following a strict keto diet. Luckily, it’s easy to make this delicious one-skillet dish keto-friendly: Just use low-carb veggies, like zucchini and spinach.

Yields: 2 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
2 tablespoons (30g) ghee or other healthy cooking fat
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium (120g) green bell pepper, sliced
½ small (35g) yellow onion, sliced
1 small (150g) zucchini, cut into ½-inch (1-cm) cubes
½ cup (120g) canned diced tomatoes
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon paprika
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and ground black pepper
3 cups (90g) fresh spinach
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon (4g) fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin

Directions

  1. In a large skillet greased with ghee, cook the onion over medium-high heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned.
  2. Add garlic, green pepper, and zucchini. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add tomatoes, cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute, until wilted.
  5. Use a spatula to make 4 wells in the mixture. Crack 1 egg into each well, and cook until the whites are opaque and the yolks are still runny. Remove from the heat.
  6. Garnish with the cilantro. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days (without the fried eggs).

Per Serving
Fat: 25.4g
Protein: 16.3g
Carbohydrate: 12.6g
Calories: 338
Macronutrient ratio: calories from carbs (10 percent), protein (20 percent), fat (70 percent)

Lunch: Ratatouille Soup

Slajerova says: Some soups, like this delicate version of ratatouille, are best prepared on the stovetop, with ingredients added gradually. It features pesto and fresh herbs, which contain volatile oils—to preserve their flavors, they should be added at the end of the cooking process.

Yields: 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minute

Ingredients
Soup:
2 tablespoons (30g) ghee or other healthy cooking fat
1 small (110g) yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium (120g) green bell pepper, diced
1 medium (120g) yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
2 cups (480ml) vegetable or chicken stock
1 medium (200g) zucchini, diced
1 medium (250g) eggplant, diced
2 cups (480ml) water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
14.1 ounces (400g) canned diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons (30g) Red Pesto
Salt and ground black pepper
Topping:
6 oz (170g) fresh mozzarella di bufala
6 tablespoons (90ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh basil

Directions

  1. Heat a skillet greased with ghee over medium heat. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned.
  2. Add the garlic, peppers, zucchini, and eggplant. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the oregano, tomatoes, stock, and water. Bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Take off the heat. Use a ladle to transfer half of the vegetables to a bowl, and set aside.
  5. Use an immersion blender to purée the remaining vegetables. Place the reserved vegetables back into the pot and add the pesto. Stir and season with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with a piece of fresh mozzarella cheese.

Drizzle each bowl with a tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil, and garnish with basil leaves. To store, let it cool, and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months (without the toppings).

Per Serving (About 1½ Cups/360ml)
Fat: 29.1g
Protein: 7g
Carbohydrate: 11.9g
Calories: 338
Macronutrient ratio: calories from carbs (10 percent), protein (11 percent), fat (79 percent)

Dinner: Fish with Wine

Carpender says: You’d be hard-pressed to take more than ten minutes to make this. I used cod because it was on sale, but any mild white fish should be good this way—sole, flounder, stuff like that. Your butter/olive oil mixture will brown a little. Don’t sweat it; it gives the sauce a nice nutty tone. You can increase this recipe, but I just figure most of you don’t have a skillet big enough for four servings of fish.

Yields: 2 servings
Preparation time: TK minutes
Cooking time: TK minutes

Ingredients
White Fish
2 tablespoons (28g) butter
2 tablespoons (28ml) olive oil
½ of a lemon
4 tablespoons (16g) parsley, minced
2 tablespoons (28ml) dry white wine
20 pitted olives

Directions

  1. Season fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Use a nonstick skillet, or spray your skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Put it over medium-low heat, and add the butter and olive oil. Swirl them together as the butter melts. When the fat is hot, lay the thickest pieces of fish in it—my thickest pieces were about ¾-inch (2cm).
  2. Set the timer for 2 minutes. While that’s happening, quarter the lemon and flick out the seeds. When the timer beeps, turn the pieces of fish already in the skillet and add the thinner pieces to the pan.
  3. Set the timer again for 2 minutes. After those 2 minutes, the thick pieces should be flaky clear through; remove from the pan and plate them. Flip the thinner pieces and heat them until they are a little golden brown. Plate those, too. Place in a low-temperature oven or tent with foil to keep warm.
  4. Throw the parsley and wine into the skillet, and squeeze in the lemon juice. As that’s cooking down a little, add the olives. After 1-2 minutes, divide the olives between the plates and pour the sauce over them. Serve immediately.

Per Serving
Fat: 36g (69.7 percent calories from fat)
Protein: 31g
Carbohydrate: 5g
Calories: 475

Dessert: Keto Brownies

Carpender says: I’m pretty sure these are the lowest-carb brownies I’ve ever come up with. Be aware—our testers say that the texture improves remarkably as these cool, so do not expect to eat them straight out of the oven. They also note not to overbake—you’ll see butter floating on the surface, but that’s OK. Take them out on time. Also, one tester wanted them sweeter; how sweet you like them will likely depend on how long you’ve been avoiding sugar. Feel free to add a couple more tablespoons (24g) of erythritol and/or a bit more liquid stevia.

Yields: 12 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
2 ounces (55g) bitter chocolate
1 cup (225g) butter
½ cup (96g) erythritol
½ teaspoon liquid stevia, chocolate, vanilla, or English Toffee
2 eggs
½ cup (114g) vanilla whey protein powder
1 pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat an 8×8-inch (20×20-cm) baking dish with cooking spray. In the top of a double boiler over boiling water or in a saucepan over a heat diffuser set over very low heat, melt the chocolate and butter together. Stir until they’re well combined. Scrape this into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the erythritol, stir well, and then stir in the liquid stevia.
  3. Next, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla whey protein powder and salt.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not overbake! Let cool in the pan, and then cut into 12 bars. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

Per Serving
Fat: 19g (79.8 percent calories from fat)
Protein: 9g
Carbohydrate: 2g
Calories: 208

While eating a healthy diet is half the battle of living a healthy lifestyle, working out is the other half. Aaptiv can help you meet all your workout goals. 

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Nutrition Recipes

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