Food Tips,  Recipes

Keto Diet, The Pasta Challenge

 

Year after year after year, Italian food and restaurants rate in the top five of favorite cuisines, so it is not surprising that once beginning the Keto diet, you get a craving for Fettuccini Alferdo, or, Bucatini Bolaganese, or, a slice of homemade Lasagna, or, Pizza, but alas it cannot be, just a couple of tablespoons of pasta and you have already surpassed your daily carb allotment. What’s a hungry dieter to do?

Well before we get to providing a solution, heres a few helpful tips to help you stay focused and moving down (on the scale) toward your goal.

Be Determined: stick it out, every diet will have it up’s, downs (what you want) and of course the dreaded plateau, especially in the first 30 days, your body is adjusting, it’s learning to burn fat for its fuel instead of the carbs, less carbs burned the more fat.  Keep in mind to lose 1 pound you must burn 3500 calories, how many carbs in that pound, simple divide that 3500 by four, so 3500/4=875, so to lose one pound, use exercise to burn half the calories, and you diet to burn the other half, from this formula we see the consumption of under 60 grams of carbs per day will help in your losing weight. Count those carbs first, but it cannot hurt to keep an eye on the calories as well.

Eat Your Way To Weight Loss:  Eat like a bird, have you ever watched a bird eat, they never stop, but they never over do it. Teach yourself to consume your morning, midday and evening meals, but guess what, it’s okay to snack as well. When you blood sugar drops, your body says “feed me” that is when the craving and desires show up. If you feed your body small amounts when it needs it you will defeat the cravings.

Make a Plan, Stick to the Plan: Meal planning is weight loss foresight, giving you the ability to see you (less of you) in the near future. Once you have developed the plan, live it, stick to it, do not waver.

Read, Then Read it Again:` Read the labels, know how many calories and carbs are within whatever you are about to consume. Never assume a similar product has the same counts, they can range greatly. Do not assume that the item has low carbs because it is a protein.  Compare the following two, fresh Pork Sausage and Polska Kielbasa, a big difference, so read and re-read those labels.

Item                          Size     Calories         Fat G              Carbs G         Protein G

Polska Kielbasa       4 oz    340                 30                   6                      14

Breakfast Sausage  4 oz    340                29.35             0                      16.92

Make good use of your phone apps that will count for, just enter the item, the apps will track your carbs and calories based on what you tell, so be truthful, after all your not lieing to the app you’d be lieing to yourself.

Drink: Have a drink, in fact, have at least eight of them, water, of course. Coffee, tea, herbal non sweet teas, vegetable or meat broths all can count. Why, because sometime your hunger pang is simply your body saying “I’m thirsty”.

Fat is Not a Fad: Fat is the flavor conduit, most low fat diets fail because they are tasteless, food needs the fat to transfer its flavor profile to your taste buds, so dine upon and snack on food items that contain fat instead of sugars. Use butters and oils to cook with, toss your food with a oil and vinegar and herb dressing, eat proteins, for your snacks. As stated above watch out for items with fillers, those fillers are usually high carb and high sugar ingredients.

Desserts:  Stressed spells backward is desserts, desserts contain large quantities of sugar, this will drive you blood sugar levels up resulting in stress on your body, stressing your taste buds driving food cravings , especially for “comfort food” which are high in what you don’t need. So avoid both, watch this blog, we will get to desserts that will be acceptable, but for now just stay away, regardless of how you spell the word, you’ll be happier for omitting it.

 Pass The Pasta Please

The best pasta of course is semolina flour mixed with eggs, a pinch of salt and a dash of water (if needful), so for the Keto diet we must consider our best options, first the egg, no problem here, eggs fit right in with what we are seeking. Salt, well just a pinch, but what of the flour, here we use a combination of almond, coconut and xanthan gum.

Once mixed the dough can shaped into any of the pasta shapes you have come to love. Long pastas for fettucini, linquini, spaghetti, short pastas orecchiette and farfalle, sheet pasta for lasagna, cannelloni or manicotti, or stuffing pasta for your favorite ravioli.

Roll the pasta between sheets of parchment paper, slice for long pasta, or, use the sheets for stuffing pasta, roll the dough into logs to shape your shorts pastas.

Now here is the trick, freeze for 15 minutes before using, then never, never ever boil the pasta. You simply melt butter and use some olive oil and sautéed the pasta until they take on a slightly darker color,(al dente) toss with your favorite sauce and your accompaniments, top with your favorite cheese and your have a great meal that kills the pasta craving.

PASTA DOUGH

6 oz almond flour

3 oz coconut flour

4 teaspoons xanthan gum

½  teaspoon kosher salt depending on whether sweet or savory

1 tsp dried Italian herbs (optional)

4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 egg lightly beaten

4-6 teaspoons ice water as needed

TO COOK

56 g grass-fed butter as needed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic slivered, helps to flavor

Add almond flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum and salt to food processor. Pulse until thoroughly combined.

Mix the cider vinegar with the eggs. Pour in with the food processor running. Add the water a teaspoon at a time and only as needed, mix until the dough forms into a ball.

Wrap dough in cling film and knead it through the plastic for a couple minutes. Allow dough to rest for 30 minutes (and up to 5 days) in the fridge.  Shape as required.

Place shaped pasta in the freezer for 15 minutes (and up to a couple months).

TO COOK

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet or pan over low heat. Once warm, add in garlic slivers. When the garlic begins to brown, add the chilled pasta and baste with a soup, tablespoon immediately.

Cook until the pasta begins to turn color. Sample, a piece for “bite” toss with sauce, plate, top with your cheese choice and serve at once.

The pasta contains 117 calories and 8g carbs per serving.

Ragù Alla Bolognese

45 ml             3 tbsp                       Olive oil

115 gr             4 oz.                         Bacon diced

280 gr            10 oz.                      Extra lean ground beef

115 gr             4 oz.                         Ground pork

115 gr             4 oz.                         Ground veal

1                      1                               Large Spanish onion, finely diced

2                      1                              Large carrots, pared, diced fine

2                      2                              Stalks celery diced fine

2                      2                              Garlic clove minced

125 ml           1/2 cup                    Fresh chopped parsley

60 ml             1/4 cup                   Tomato paste

250 ml           1 cup                       Beef broth

375 ml           1 ½ cups                Chopped tomatoes

5 ml                1 tsp                        salt

3 ml                1/2 tsp                   Dried Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Black pepper each

1                      1                              Bay leaf

5 ml                1 tsp                       Worcestershire sauce

80 ml             1/3 cup                 Parmesan cheese grated

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Render the bacon, add the remaining meats and fry thoroughly, drain excess oil. Add the vegetables and continue to cook until vegetables are tender.

Add the parsley, tomato, broth, tomatoes, seasonings and Worcestershire. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Cook the pasta, as above, place on serving plates, spoon the sauce over, sprinkle with cheese and serve at once.

This sauce contains 281 calories and 5.6 carbs per ½ cup serving.

Orecchiette With Tomato Cream Sauce

Pasta recipe above.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

1 tablespoon dried basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon butter

4 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

Roll the pasta into a log shape, slice thin slices, place in the palm of your and indent the center with your thumb, shaping each piece into the classic “little ear” shape.

In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and continue to boil 5 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in whipping cream and butter. Reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes, stir in the cheese.

This sauce has just 138 calories and 6 carbs per ½ cup serving.

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