Creating a Keto-Friendly Kitchen
If you are considering the keto diet to improve your health, congratulations. Your life is about to get much easier.
The Keto diet is high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carbohydrate and is ideal for the home cook who wants to eat healthier.
In fact, one of the biggest benefits of eating a Ketogenic diet is that there are fewer choices for fast food, so cooking at home is more of a necessity.
This gives you more family time while preparing, and you’re eating food that is healthier because you know what is in it.
But how does one get started with eating Keto at home?
Find Recipes That You Like
The first priority is to find recipes. If your family likes beef, then do a quick Google search of “Keto + beef recipe” and see what results you get.
Beef is the most versatile of meats and lends itself to many different cooking methods, such as slow-roasting, grilling, and pan-frying.
Chicken is tasty and works well with many types of keto-friendly sauces, like Alfredo or other heavy-cream-based sauces.
Whatever kind of meat your family likes, start there. Be sure to search for pork, fish, and other seafood the same way to get inspired.
Also, search for recipes that lend themselves to the tools you already have, such as an outdoor barbecue, an indoor grill, a slow cooker, or cast-iron cookware.
Start where you are at today. There is no need to go out and buy new cookware until you know if you are going to use it often enough to make the purchase worthwhile.
Stock Up Your Pantry
Cooking at home can be a great time to experiment with new foods, but you are going to want to keep some staple items on hand.
Be sure to purchase Keto-friendly oil (extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil), for pan-frying or browning meats before roasting.
Purchase fresh herbs when you know that you can use them up before they turn. Or grab those handy squeeze tubes if you find that you use one herb more often than others. Nothing beats the taste of fresh herbs in your meals.
You may want to experiment with grainy or Dijon mustards in your salad dressing and meat coatings.
And do not forget the sugar-free ketchup and barbecue sauce. There are plenty of tasty ones available in most stores.
An inexpensive and keto-friendly meat coating is crushed pork rinds. Add some parmesan cheese and spices like garlic and onion, and then coat chicken breast or pork chops prior to baking.
Get A Good Chef’s Knife
This is the one tool that you should spend money on. A good quality knife will last for many years with very little maintenance.
A huge benefit to eating Keto and cooking at home is that you can bulk-buy meat. Purchasing a large strip loin of beef means that you can eat steak for less than buying it already cut. This goes for pork loin as well.
Start out with the basic 8” chef’s knife, which is the work-horse of commercial kitchens everywhere.
The standard chef’s knife is popular because it is versatile. Be sure to actually hold it in your hand and feel the weight of it.
You want a good grip, and the knife should not be too heavy for your hand. With the right knife, you can chop and carve meat with confidence.
Be Sure To Have The Right Equipment
You will need measuring cups and spoons for making sauces and salad dressings. Using a fork and a glass measuring cup, you can whip up vinaigrette dressing that contains fresh herbs and flavored vinegar. Make your salads fun by making homemade dressings.
Have at least one 9” x 13” baking dish for Keto casseroles and roasting spaghetti squash.
Invest in a good brand of baking sheets for bacon-wrapped asparagus, or for cooking a sheet-pan meal with chicken and roasted vegetables.
A Dutch-oven or large pot with a lid for meal-prepping large batches of food, like chili or spaghetti sauce for your squash, will make home cooking easier.
Don’t Forget Meal-Prep Containers
My favorite part of the Keto diet is meal prepping for the week. You can cook your lunches and dinners on Sunday, add everything to your containers and just grab-and-go each day.
Or just make lunches and cook dinners at home - whatever works for your household.
I like the snap-lock containers for foods with liquids/sauces that could potentially spill in your lunch bag.
I also prefer to microwave in glass, if microwaving is my only option. And glass containers do not stain and are easy to clean up.
Plastic containers are fine for foods like chicken or tuna salad, tossed salads, and sliced meat and cheese meals. Because some days are just like that, right?
You can prep salad foods like spinach by washing and adding to a salad spinner to remove most of the water. Then roll up in a towel for a couple of hours to get the rest of the water off. Add to your containers.
Use small snap-lock containers for salad dressing and additional items like cherry tomatoes, chopped spring onion, cheese cubes, bacon bits, sliced hard-cooked egg, or whatever you and your family enjoy eating on salad.
Prepping your Keto meals in advance means less chance that you will eat off-plan. And it ensures that your family is eating one meal away from home that is healthy. Learn more about keto diet here!
When I started eating a keto diet, I was surprised by how much less work it was. I would use my slow-cooker for cooking a large batch of stew beef and then adding it to my meal prep containers with some barbecue sauce. And ta-da, lunch for the week is done. It was almost effortless!
Eating a keto diet is a healthy alternative to processed and fast foods and is made even better by cooking it at home using proper equipment and quality ingredients.
Mixing bowls and hand mixers go together like Romeo and Juliet or peanut butter and jelly. You get the idea. Please, don’t even try using your mixer with a shallow pan.
Often, when we blend our food, mess happens. There are varied reasons for a messy food preparation involving blenders, and these include leaking products or foods trap in the appliance parts that are hard to clean.
An immersion blender is a tool that helps blend ingredients or puree food. Unlike the regular blender wherein you place the ingredients to be mixed in its container before blending, the immersion blender makes you blend the ingredients directly in the container where they are being prepared.