Keto Low Carb Panang Curry with Tofu

Serves:  5-6 PEOPLE Prep time:  10 MINUTES cook time:  30 MINUTES Total time:  40 MINUTES

Quick and easy Keto, Low Carb, Vegetarian

Keto Low Carb Panang Curry with Tofu

Last week my sister, who is a new mom, was telling me about a thai red curry that she made for dinner. She was telling me how she’s been making quick and easy meals as she eases back into a normal routine. Ever since that conversation I couldn’t stop thinking about thai food! Thai food is high on my list of favorite foods. So I decided to make a quick and easy keto vegetarian version of the panang curry for a flavorful, nutritious low carb meal. 

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This recipe was rated as “Top 5 meals that have come out of this kitchen” by my husband! The flavors and smells of this curry are divine. It is a great way to add a vegetarian meal into your week. Or as a substitution for the tofu, you can add grilled chicken instead. You can make this for a dinner party or meal prep it for Thai night in!    

Ingredients

  • 2 Cans Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • ½ yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup of broccoli
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut oil or Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Almond Butter
  • Hodo Thai Curry Nuggets 16 ounces
  • 1 Tsp Swerve 
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Minced Garlic
  • Adobo Seasoning To Taste
  • Black Pepper to Taste
  • Cayenne Pepper to Taste
  • ½ Cup Heavy Cream (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pour the 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk into a large skillet over medium heat. Add the stir fry vegetables (onions, peppers, and broccoli) until softened, approximately 5-6 minutes. 
  2. Add another can of the coconut milk, red curry paste, almond butter, oil, garlic, ginger, Swerve, and seasonings and bring mixture to a full boil. Add in ½ cup of heavy cream (optional) – Leave out the heavy cream if making this vegan. Bring the heat down to simmer and let the flavors develop over 15minutes. Stir the curry mixture occasionally.
  3. Open pre-cooked Hodo Thai Nuggets and add to panang sauce.  
  4. Continue cooking a gentle simmer for an additional 10 minutes to allow flavors to continue to develop and spices to cook out. Sauce should have a nutty flavor with a hint of sweet.
  5. Serve panang curry with your choice of cauliflower rice or kohlrabi noodles. 

Nutrition Information: YIELD: 5-6 SERVING SIZE: 1 serving 

Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 474 TOTAL FAT: 31g CARBOHYDRATES: 27.6g DIETARY FIBER: 15.8 SUGAR: 9.2g PROTEIN: 22.2g NET CARBS: 11.8G

***Nutrition facts include 5oz of kohlrabi noodles.

Low Carb Spinach & Cheese Enchiladas 

Not only are these low carb enchiladas tasty and nutritious and perfectly keto-friendly, but they are also a family favorite. Trust me, no one will be able to tell that this is a healthy food option!

Are tortillas keto?

Can you eat tortillas living a ketogenic lifestyle…yes or no? Well, it depends on your perspective on keto. Some tortillas contain ingredients that may spike blood sugar, although the dietary fiber in them make the macronutrients qualify to be keto-friendly. I found that low carb tortillas have not hurt my weight loss progress and have made the lifestyle more sustainable because I get to enjoy my favorite foods. I decided to make these enchiladas to add some variety to my taco rotation and they were a HIT!  I made these enchiladas vegetarian, since I’m a lacto-ovo-pesco vegetarian. However, you can add some shredded chicken to it as well.

If you are in need of meal plans, meal inspiration, or guidance on your weight loss journey, sign up for my health coaching course for support!

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Low Carb Spinach & Cheese Enchiladas! dinnerparty takeout ketogeniclifestyle caloriedeficitweightloss ketocooking lowcarbmeal learnontiktok

♬ Can We Kiss Forever? – Kina

Ingredients

10 Mission Tortillas

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

1 cup chopped peppers & onions 

1 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream 

Adobo Seasoning, to taste 

Hint of Cayenne Pepper

1 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

1 ¼ cup of green enchilada sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix the chopped spinach, peppers, onions, cream cheese and sour cream. Add adobo seasoning, to taste. Stir in half of the mozzarella cheese; blend well. Place 2-3 Tablespoons of the mixture into each tortilla. Spread the filling close towards one side of the tortilla, then roll up. In a greased 9×13″ baking dish, place the enchilada seam-side down. Pour the green chile enchilada sauce so that it is evenly coated over the top and sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400º 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Sprinkle parsley and oregano seasoning over the top.

Makes 10 servings 

Per Serving: 335 Calories; 25.8g Fat; 16.7g Protein; 31.1g Carbohydrate; 17.3g Dietary Fiber; 14g Net Carbs

Food Labels Are Misleading: Why Ingredients Matter

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Processed foods labeled as “healthy” are at an all time high. As the ketogenic lifestyle increases in popularity, companies have caught onto trends by labeling products “keto friendly” despite their artificial ingredients and hidden sugars. For those attempting to live a healthy lifestyle, these products can derail weight loss progress and stall health goals. 

Carbohydrate intake per day to achieve ketosis can vary and is individualized based on a person’s Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). While one might be okay with a snack that is 8g Net Carb, for strict-keto’s this may knock them out of ketosis. 

Companies that label products as keto friendly are often depending on shoppers to skip reading the nutrition facts and ingredient lists. That is why it is more important than ever to read ingredients. Stick to products with simple ingredients with words you can pronounce! Also, try to avoid products with hidden sugars (sucralose and allulose). 

While these “healthy” processed snacks can assist with the convenience and sustainability of a ketogenic lifestyle, it’s important to indulge in moderation. A health coach can be beneficial if you’re struggling with eating processed foods and consistency on your health journey. Health coaches can help determine your pattern, triggers, and provide guidance with meal prepping at home, traveling, reading labels while grocery shopping, and restaurant eating. Remember, the best foods on any meal plan will always be whole foods, including produce, proteins, and healthy fats. Don’t allow clever marketing to compromise your health goals! 

If you’re looking to get started on a ketogenic lifestyle but don’t know where to start, sign up for my free Webinar.

Click here to register!

Berries: The Superior Fruits for Weight loss

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In general, fruits are known to be an important part of eating a healthy and balanced meal plan. Fruits are packed with nutrients and are high in fiber. However, most keto meal plans reduce fruit intake due to their high amounts of sugar despite its simple carbohydrate status. The good news is that not only do berries have a sweet pleasant taste, they are low in sugar, among the highest fiber fruits, which make them suitable for ketogenic weight loss. 

Fiber Keeps You Full 

Berries score low on the glycemic index, which measures how quickly something will raise blood sugar levels. This makes it appropriate for the diabetic meal plan, which means it is also suitable for keto meals. Fiber is a key component of determining net carbohydrates. Carbohydrates from fiber are not viewed the same as other types of carbohydrates. Research says that fiber has the potential to slow gastric emptying, keeping you feeling fuller longer. It also overall reduces the amount of calories consumed due to the feeling of fullness. 

Antioxidants For the Win

Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances in food that fight oxidation, which is a process associated with the development of cancer, and other diseases that cause cell damage. Because berries are high in antioxidants, they are not only great for weight loss but also assist to decrease risk of chronic diseases and enhance the efficiency of the immune system. 

My favorite way to eat berries these days is to throw a ¼ cup into my keto waffles. Check out my TikTok recipe for Keto Blueberry Waffles below!

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Are you a berry lover? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them? Let me know in the comments!

If you’re looking to learn more about how to incorporate plant-based meals and fruits to a ketogenic lifestyle, sign up for my free webinar. Click here to register! Seats are limited!

Calorie Deficit vs Keto: Which One is Better for Weight loss?

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What is a Caloric Deficit?

As I make my daily scroll through tiktok, I encounter a number of videos with people on a weight loss journey, showing what they eat in a day to remain in a caloric deficit. The comments sections are often flooded with statements saying that the snack or food choices shown are not necessarily healthy, even though the content creator remains in a caloric deficit. A calorie is a unit of energy that is used by the body to function and perform tasks. Each individual requires a certain amount of calories to keep normal processes going, which is referred to as a BMR or a Basic Metabolic Rate. In general, those who live very active lifestyles tend to need more calories in order to function versus those who live sedentary lifestyles require less. 

What I Eat In a Day – Calorie Deficit & Keto

What is Keto?

In a ketogenic lifestyle, macronutrients are divided into proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  Typically, one does not monitor calories but monitors carbohydrates instead. A majority of the macronutrient intake comes from fats, which accounts for 60-75% of intake, while proteins are kept moderate at 10-30%, and carbohydrates kept low at 5-10% of intake. This balance of macronutrients places the body into ketosis, which is a metabolic state where the body utilizes fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. So my question is which one is more effective for weight loss, a caloric deficit or ketosis? 

So which one is more effective for weight loss?

The short answer is both! With keto, it is helpful to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. Losing weight (or excess body fat really) requires the body to utilize stored fat through maintaining somewhat of a deficit. The benefit of keto is that it allows you to be in a deficit without feeling hungry and having carb cravings. The truth is that many, including myself have struggled with weight loss methods due to hunger and falling into temptations. Also, because the ketogenic lifestyle includes non-starchy vegetables and healthy fats, which are more satiating, naturally you end up in a deficit without having to actually count the calories. 

My Conclusion

Keto has been an amazing tool in ensuring success for weight loss, as it decreases appetite stimulating hormones, while forcing the body to utilize stored fat. While you still need to be in a deficit to lose weight, keto gives freedom from calorie counting and allows one to eat until full. Once weight loss results have been achieved through keto, calorie intake should raise back to maintenance needs. However, it’s important to understand that if you revert back to old ways of eating with keto or a calorie deficit, you run the risk of gaining that weight back. Habits achieved through keto should remain for the long term as a healthy lifestyle change. 

Are you in a caloric deficit or live a ketogenic lifestyle? Which one do you think is most effective for weight loss? 

Share your experience in the comments below!

Also, if you’re looking to learn more about the ketogenic lifestyle and how to get started, sign up for my free webinar! Click HERE to register. I hope to see you there! 

Is Keto Sustainable?

Recently, I’ve had a newfound fun yet devoting habit of creating and watching TikTok videos. Many nutritionists, physicians, and health coaches speak out against the ketogenic lifestyle claiming that it is unsustainable. At first, I would find myself in the comments telling all that I disagree with the sentiment. However, it would turn into a back and forth discussion without any outcome or productivity. I tend not to be an argumentative type of person and try my best to view all perspectives. So it really got me thinking…What does it mean to be “unsustainable?” What does sustainable even mean?

Check out my TikTok video on the non-sustainability of keto

By definition, sustainability is the ability to be maintained. A ketogenic lifestyle is one that includes high-fat, moderate-protein, and low carbohydrate foods. The 5-10% of total calories coming from carbohydrates allows for non-starchy vegetables and fruits with a low glycemic index. The balance of macronutrients places the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, where the body utilizes fat for energy instead of glucose. Therefore, when one asks is keto sustainable, they are truly asking can you eat this way all of your life? While I believe that balance is important and it’s okay to indulge in moderation. You can absolutely live without bread and sweets. There is no minimum amount of carbohydrates that’s required for survival, although many are conditioned to believe otherwise. Now, due to the popularity of keto, new products and restaurant menu items have made it easier than ever to maintain this lifestyle. 

All in all, when transitioning into this lifestyle, one should consider their own goals, preferences, and personal health conditions. As a keto vegetarian, my meals are filled with a variety of whole foods. Just like with any other new meal plan or change to your nutrition, its sustainability can only be determined by the person willing to sustain it. Whether it is a calorie deficit, ketogenic, paleo, or any other meal plan, the new healthy behaviors learned must be maintained in order to create a sustainable change.

To learn more about the most searched weight loss trend in 2020 and to see whether it is right for you, sign up for my FREE Keto Vegetarian Mini-Course. In this course, I discuss the history of keto, benefits, misconceptions, how to get started, and how I modified my meal plan to fit a vegetarian/pescatarian lifestyle. Click here to register!

Keto Lemon Butter Garlic Salmon Recipe

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 25 Minutes

Total Time: 35 Minutes

Serves 6-7 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Butter or Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 
  • 5 large cloves garlic crushed or Minced Garlic
  • 2 pound salmon fillets
  • Adobo Seasoning to taste
  • Cracked Black pepper to taste 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley divided

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a baking tray with a large piece of aluminum foil, large enough to create a sealed pouched over your salmon fillets.   
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter or heat oil over low-medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon juice and heat for one minute. 
  4. Place the salmon in the lined baking tray and season to taste with the adobo seasoning and pepper to taste. Pour the butter or olive oil, lemon, garlic over the salmon, and using a spoon, spread evenly over the salmon. Sprinkle with parsley. Fold the edges of the aluminum foil over the salmon to cover and completely seal the pouch over the salmon fillets.
  5. Bake until cooked through (about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish and your preference of doneness). Open the foil. Place the oven on Broil. Carefully, watch the fillets as you broil the top of the fish in the middle or top rack of the oven for 2-5minutes. 
  6. Top with extra parsley if desired and serve. 

Keto Low Carb Blueberry Waffles

Keto Blueberry Waffle, Topped with Strawberry, Sugar Free Syrup, and Whip Cream

If you’re a waffle lover and a keto newbie, you will love this Keto Low Carb Blueberry Waffle. There’s only a few simple ingredients to make this delicious breakfast with only 6 Net Carbs per waffle. Add cheesy scrambled eggs and sausage of your choice (I opt for vegetarian) for a 15 net carb meal, suitable for a modified ketogenic and low carbohydrate lifestyle.  

Now you might be wondering…Are blueberries keto friendly? The answer is YES! There is a major misconception that fruit is not allowed while living a ketogenic lifestyle. These waffles have ½ cup of blueberries in them which total about 6.5 Net Carbs, making them keto and low carb friendly. Blueberries are also low in calories, high in fiber, and are rich in antioxidants that support heart health, making them an important part of a healthy meal plan. 

To make these waffles, I use a Dash mini waffle maker. Check out my Tik Tok Video to see how I make my Keto Blueberry Waffles. You can find the recipe below.

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Ingredients

Serves 4 (4 inch) Waffles – 12 Net Carbs for Two Waffles

¾ Cup Birch Benders Keto Waffle Mix

½ Cup Water

1 Tablespoon Oil

½ Cup Thawed Frozen or Fresh Blueberries

1 Tsp Swerve Sweetener 

2 Tablespoon of Butter

Sugar-Free Syrup

Reddi Whip Cream 

Instructions

Blend in the waffle mix, water, oil, and Swerve into a bowl. Mix until combined. If the mixture is too thin, let the mixture sit for a minute or two to thicken. If you want a thick waffle, add more waffle mix. Add in the blueberries and gently mix. Cook until brown in a mini waffle maker, according to the waffle iron instructions. Once waffles are cooked, place them on a plate, top with butter, sugar-free syrup, and whip cream.

Are Weight-Loss Pictures Another Form of Fat-Shaming?

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A few months ago, there was a discussion circulating on twitter that weight loss transformation pictures are another form of fat-shaming. At first, I had written off the statement as trolling. However, the more I thought about it the more I could see their point. Ultimately, when one sees a post of a sad looking before picture and happy looking after picture. It could potentially be sending a message that the after body holds more value than the previous body, which for many the previous body is their goal. 

Women of all sizes deserve the right to exist with respect, self-love, and the ability to navigate life without feeling like they NEED to change themselves. While many strive to become their best self and I use this statement a lot, is your best self synonymous with your thinnest self? No, absolutely not! People should make the decision to become their best self as a personal health decision for themselves. The true value in your new phase should come from how you feel and not from how you look. Making a decision to improve your health with weight loss as a byproduct is something that should be celebrated. However, within that journey it is equally as important to celebrate the person you are at every stage, because each person is someone worthy to be proud of.

A Plant-Based Approach to Keto

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Keto originated back in the 1920s, as a treatment for children with epilepsy. Reducing carbohydrates denied the brain’s seizure activity of glucose, which reduced the amount of seizures, and the patients lost weight as a result of the treatment. Keto now has become the most popular searched trend in regards to meal planning and weight loss in 2020. It helps people shed unwanted fat by making the body burn it for energy. The most popular versions of keto are meat-based, with a spotlight on processed fatty meats like bacon. Many physicians and dieticians tell patients that keto is dangerous due to the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease. Many may wonder if you can be keto and vegetarian? And the answer is yes! 

When I decided to begin keto in 2019, I had already been vegetarian for almost 10 years. I have been able to lose 55lbs and maintain weight loss for the past year. Thankfully, there are heart healthier plant-based options for those who want to try keto without eating large amounts of meat. While there is no single approach to keto, generally it calls for 5%-10% of caloric intake to come from carbohydrates, 60%-75% from fat, and 10%-20% from protein, which has been a polarizing conversation amongst medical professionals due to limited research on the long-term effects.  

A keto vegetarian plant-based meal plan can still have plenty of variety, with healthy fats like avocado, seeds, or nuts. You can also include a variety of low carbohydrate proteins such as tempeh, seitan, tofu, or soybean based vegetarian meat. The important part is ensuring that you consume enough healthy fats and proteins, while keeping carbohydrates to a minimum. A plant-based keto meal plan allows you to reap the benefits of ketosis while still being conscious of the types of fat consumed. 

Regardless of which method you decide to try, remember the best way to lose weight is gradually. Fat loss is supposed to be slow and you’ll be more likely to keep the weight off in the long run. Also as a plant-based keto vegetarian, or a ketotarian, it’s important to be open to new ideas and be creative with your meals!