Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Keto)

Keto Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Keto Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I wasn’t always a fan of Brussels sprouts. I remember as a kid, I used to hide them under my napkin just so that I could be excused from the dinner table. What was I thinking? I LOVE them now! If you are not a fan of Brussels sprouts, you have probably been preparing them wrong. I sometimes finely slice them and fry them with grass-fed butter and bacon bits, or roast them until crispy (like I have done here) and serve covered with grated Parmesan. If you love Brussels sprouts as much as I do, please check out the Brown-buttered Brussels Sprouts recipe. Both are an excellent side dish to your protein to complete a healthy keto meal.

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Keto Pesto Konjac / Shirataki Pasta

Keto Pesto Konjac Shirataki Pasta
Keto Pesto Konjac Shirataki Pasta

I have blogged about konjac (shirataki) noodles before – they are the bomb! Made out of the konjac root, the company Eat Water in the UK has (over time) perfected a noodle-looking food that is so low in carbs, I can fool myself into thinking I am enjoying a good pasta. They are high in fibre, very filling and even look like the real thing. Available in ‘rice’, ‘noodles’, ‘penne’ and ‘fettuccine’ (< my favourite), they are indeed a godsend for those on keto / low-carb diets. I love big, bold flavours that slap me right through the face, and you simply cannot go wrong with an excellent homemade Basil Pesto. My pesto recipe is unbeatable and I highly encourage you to whip up a batch at home – you will never eat store-bought again. By all means, add a lovely portion of grilled chicken to it, just include it in your macros.

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Best-ever Homemade Basil Pesto

Keto Basil Pesto
Keto Basil Pesto

Homemade basil pesto doesn’t last very long in our home due to its versatility, dynamite flavour and the ease of which it can be thrown together. Spend two extra minutes toasting the pine kernels and lightly frying the rawness out of the chopped garlic and you will be good to go. Fresh homemade pesto is superior to anything you will buy in the store – nothing beats it. This recipe makes a small tub (approximately 175g / 6oz), or 4 servings as calculated.

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Blueberry Chia Keto Breakfast Pots

Keto Chia Blueberry Porridge

These delightful little chia keto breakfast pots are a godsend for those who need a keto grab-and-go breakfast. Five minutes of prep the night before is all it takes for a low-carb, high-fibre breakfast that ticks all the boxes. I suggest you double or triple the batch (using the handy plugin below which will ensure your chia/milk ratio is preserved) to make it last for several busy weekday mornings. Come Saturday, you can take the time to prepare a bacon and egg fry-up. Oh, how we love keto!

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Stir-fried Greens with Bacon (Keto; Paleo)

Keto Cabbage Bacon Stir Fry

Everything tastes awesome with bacon with its lovely salty, smokiness… This side dish of stir-fried greens with bacon is sensational! A large portion of this could easily stand as a meal on its own, but it would be better for your macros if this recipe was made for two as a side dish and served alongside a nice portion of protein, such as pork chops. TIP: use only the sliced white parts of leeks as the green ends are bitter. Be sure to check out all the other SIDE DISHES ideas on the site.

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Spicy Rosemary Roasted Nuts (Keto; Paleo)

Keto Spicy Rosemary Nuts
Keto Spicy Rosemary Nuts

Nuts are an ideal keto snack as they are high in fat and fibre. However, the amount you snack on should be monitored. Peanuts are not permitted on keto, but there are plenty of other tasty options. These roasted nuts are moreish with a lovely hint of rosemary and heat from the cayenne pepper which you can adjust according to your preference. I scatter over a very small pinch of sweetener as soon as it comes out of the oven, but this is entirely optional. Since you are roasting and seasoning the nuts yourself, please purchase unroasted, unsalted whole nuts for this recipe. If you like this recipe, you will LOVE the Roasted Macadamia Nuts (my personal favourite).

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Roasted Coconut Broccoli (Keto; Paleo)

Keto Coconut Broccoli

A super-simple two-ingredient dish of coconut roasted broccoli that ticks all the boxes as the perfect keto side dish. We have this at least two or three times a week to accompany our chicken, fish or braai (BBQ) meat – and we love it to the point of craving it. The stems soften and melt in your mouth, while the florets caramelise and crisp up – and the coconutty flavour is just heavenly.

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Best Ever Brownies (Keto; Paleo)

Best Keto Chocolate Brownies
Best Keto Chocolate Brownies

Bribing Funnyman with my brownies is a nifty way to get him to do stuff around the house. I learnt this in wife-training school. He loves these keto brownies. They are the perfect size to hit the sweet spot and they make great fat bombs. I don’t have a sweet tooth at all, so making a batch of these along with other sweet treats for him is my way of showing him how much I appreciate him going on this Keto journey with me. The brownies store well in the fridge (although they would disappear in a day if I did that), so I freeze them individually after cooling and slicing. We always have double cream in the house, so Funnyman reheats them slightly and then pours a little cream over them. Happy Husband = Happy Wifey…

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Keto Blueberry Lollies

Keto Blueberry Ice Lollies
Keto Blueberry Ice Lollies

Funnyman wasn’t entirely convinced when I broached the subject of doing keto with me. He has a massive sweet tooth and the thought of giving up his after-dinner treats didn’t sit well with him. A client of mine in the US suggested I try Swerve® (a brand that makes confectioner’s / powdered Erythritol) as a sugar replacement in my cooking and baking and I have never looked back. After Funnyman watched the documentary MAGIC PILL in May 2018, he was amped to start. These lollies were actually the first thing I made him. Of course, I then had to become a lolly-making machine because he happily enjoys one of these most nights. He is down almost 12kg / 26.5lb now and counting (read more about our journey here) …

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Low-carb Chili con Carne

Keto Chili Con Carne

A comforting bowl of goodness. Funnyman gets giddy with excitement when I whip up a pot of my chili. After we switched to a Keto Lifestyle, I adjusted my recipe to exclude the red kidney beans, but the overall flavour and heartiness has not been compromised, and he loves it just the same. I made this dish often in LBK (Life Before Keto), and even then we ate it with a spoon straight out of our bowls, sans tortillas, rice or any accompanying carbs, so this wasn’t a major adjustment for us. This recipe yields 3 servings, so if it’s just you and your loved one, there should be enough the next day for whoever gets to the fridge and Calls It first.

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Thai Steak Salad (Keto; Paleo)

Thai Steak Salad
Thai Steak Salad

I woke up particularly well this morning. Mr Higgins snuggled right up against me the entire night, and I woke up with his little nose breathing small amounts of snot onto my cheek: bliss. It certainly beats one Winter morning last year while still half asleep, in an effort to cover my shoulders with the duvet, my hand slipped and I punched myself in the face. Yeah, I would take a bit of Scottish Terrier snot any day.

Off topic, apologies… Having been to Thailand twice in my travels, I think its fair to say how incredible and fresh the flavours are, and there is a strong Asian influence in this steak salad. It is also 100% keto, fast, simple and satisfying!

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Spicy Moroccan Seafood (Keto; Paleo)

Keto Moroccan Seafood

This is a fantastically spicy Moroccan seafood can (mostly) be completely prepared the day before serving. When ready to eat, you will need only 10-15 minutes in the kitchen to reheat and finish the cooking – giving you plenty more time to spend with your guests. If you happen to have visited Morocco and returned with the mandatory keepsake tagine, now is your time to whip it out and use it to serve the dish. The dish is spicy, so adjust the minced chili to your liking.

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Greens with Crackling Crumb (Keto)

Greens with Buttermilk Dressing
Greens with Buttermilk Dressing

While I simply love meat, a lot of my attention is focussed on the accompanying side dishes. Think further than frozen broccoli (gag!), because there is a multitude of things you could do with salads or cooked fresh vegetables making them interesting and fun. Here is one that is packed with flavour and can be served warm – or as a cool salad at your next braai… Be sure to check out all the other SIDE DISH ideas on the site.

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Charred Padrón Peppers (Keto; Paleo)

Keto Padron Peppers
Keto Padron Peppers

The first time I had padrón peppers was in Barafina in Soho, London. Funnyman and I were drowning our sorrows, I cannot recall exactly but I suspect it was something financial. The irony was that we sat in this restaurant for about 4 hours and ordered three-quarters of the tapas menu items throughout the evening, washed down with plenty of wine (life before keto). Whatever was bothering us that night was soon forgotten (along with our financial common sense) – but the padrón peppers were memorable. Eaten whole, this is a risky little appetiser as some are hot and some are not. They are simply the perfect appetiser for someone who likes to live on the edge and I was delighted when I saw they are now readily available at the supermarket. I have made this several times and never encountered a spicy one, so perhaps not that risky after all..?

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