National Keto Day: Top Keto Meals for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
January 5 is National Keto Day. Yes, they have a holiday for everything these days. But that doesn't mean we can't celebrate! In this video, Midlothian health coach Jaime Monsen discusses her favorite keto meals and recipes for all three meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She also discusses the difference between a keto diet and a low-carb diet. Watch the video below and read on for a recap.
Top Keto Meals: Breakfast
Breakfast is kind of the easiest one. You kind of want to keep this one egg based. That's my favorite thing to do. It's easy. It's quick. You can obviously keep things simple. When you're building your meals, the number one thing I try to tell people is don't overthink keto. It's not as hard. You're simply sticking with Earth-like products. So we're going to stick with a lot of protein, and we're sticking with a lot of vegetables.
You don't have to make your recipes fancy. If you're not a big cook, that's okay. Keep it simple for you. If you're on the go and maybe raising a family, too, and it's even more time constraining to overly think these things, you don't have to. I'm going to share some things that are simple for you today. Hopefully this is helpful.
The easy go-to things are like omelets for breakfast. You can whip those up in so many different ways, adding your favorite meat, your cheeses, vegetables if you want things like asparagus. Scrambled eggs are very quick and easy. Put them up, put your favorite cheese in, add two slices of bacon on the side with it, easy, quick go. You can even cook this the night before and take it into the office the next day, which is great.
My favorite thing to do, and this is a recipe I wanted to share with you all. If you know me, I'm not big on measuring. I don't have time. I work full-time. I had two kids running around the house. So my recipe is a 13 by nine egg casserole pan. This is really nice because my husband and I can actually share it for the entire week. So you can just cut off edges and heat it up in the morning.
So if it's a Sunday afternoon and you're meal prepping for your week, a breakfast casserole is very easy to do. You're going to use about 10 eggs, add an unsweetened almond milk, blend all that up. I usually cook up about two packages of ground sausage on the side, and then I like a lot of meat in my casserole, so I do two of them. You can alter this, of course.
And then I add that into the bowl and then I added my cheese of choice. So mozzarella, anything that you enjoy, is fine, a sprinkle, a little feta for a little bit extra pop or flavor. And then you can also add in some veggies. If you want to add in your spinach to get your dark greens in for the day, this is a quick, easy way.
So this is a 13 by nine pan. Set your oven at 375, bake it for about 45 minutes, depending on your oven. Maybe monitor anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes, just depending on how quickly your oven heats up. And this is great. It'll last you for a whole week. So you don't even have to think about breakfast again. And if you really wanted to, you could even have this at another meal, so you can alter it throughout the day.
Top Keto Meals: Lunch
Moving onto lunch. The number one secret for success, honestly, is to make extra at dinner. This is a huge time saver. If you can just make a little extra of your chicken and vegetables, whatever it is, this will really save you your day.
Make Extra Dinner
What I typically do is, say I'm having grilled chicken, at night I'm going to have an extra one thrown in for me, I'll put it in a tub. And in the morning, what I like to do to really make sure my meat stays moisturized the next day, is I throw in some frozen, dark greens. So maybe I throw in some frozen broccoli in there. And then when I take it into my office, I cook it up for two, two minutes and it's already ready to go.
I know variety sometimes can get a little sticky for some. Think of other things that you may want to do, but it's also just very easy to grab and go. So kind of plan ahead on things like that, make extra, buy extras at the grocery store so you can do double at dinner.
Salads are one of the easiest things to do, but don't think like you always just have to have the same thing of spinach and cheese and grilled chicken and get a little creative.
Throw in a Caesar salad, because you're going to have nice fat options there. There are great chicken BLT salads that you can do. And then things like taco salads. You can really flavor it up and make sure your taste buds are getting satisfied with that.
One of the other things, too, is just keep in mind with your dressing. So pay attention that you're not getting dressings that have added sugars in there. That are low carbs. I usually suggest things like ranch, blue cheese, Greek yogurts are great to have. Boathouse is a local ingredients here in Virginia. We have Wegmans and Wegmans has their own Greek dressing. So you can use those as well, and there'll be low carb friendly. A lot of options there for you and things like Greek vinaigrette are really good too, because they're not going to have all of the added sugars in there.
Just pay attention to that when you're making your salads, that the dressings don't get carried away. Read your labels. For those who are with PartnerMD and you're not really sure. Reach out to your health coaches again to make sure you understand your food labels and what you're purchasing at the store. We can further assist you on that.
Top Keto Meals: Dinner
As for dinner... Seasons change, so pay attention to that. Get a little creative, get a little book together. Dinner, I think people get the most bored in and then as it's cold season, right now, people are looking for the warm foods and feel like the warm foods are the car friendly foods.
But there's a lot of keto friendly, low carb options that will be warm. That'll be pasta like or soups that you may want. One of my favorite things that I'm cooking up right now is chicken. Well, it's actually just broccoli and cheese. I think I left out the chicken last time I did it, but a broccoli and cheese Crock-Pot recipe. The family loved it, the kids included. It was easy and you could still eat off of it for the week, which is nice. So take a look at some low carb keto Crock-Pot recipes.
If you Google any of this, you're going to find an obscene amount. I love it. There's also, because chicken, chilies, and all of these kinds of things come out, make alternatives for your beans. So if you're going to be more keto, low carb, I dump in cauliflower rice instead of putting beans in and I can still keep in the cream and the chicken, all these other yummy things and stay low carb friendly and just make alterations.
Print out the recipe, get a little creative with that so that you can still meet the needs of the season, because that's going to be important that you still find some of those comfort foods without the impacts of damaging your metabolic syndrome, weight gain, things of that nature.
Low-carb pizzas. For those who want a nice pizza night from time to time, there's a lot of options. Of course you can make your own, which is eggs and cheese. It's not so hard to do. There's a lot of recipes to take a look at those. Fathead is a very popular option. Many patients are also, myself included, doing cauliflower pizza.
You can find those at any market so that you don't even have to cook it. You don't have the time. That's fine. They're out there. They're already frozen for you ready to go. But again, it gives you those creative and changes up those taste buds because that's important when I'm doing the keto program.
My favorite recipe that I was going to share at dinner, and it's a family pleaser, is fish nights. Mahi is one of our favorite dishes to have. The whole house goes silent. Everyone eats it. It's real easy to get. What I like to do is buy my fish in bulk at Costco. They have frozen packets and they're individually packed. So you can just pull out the amount that you need for the evening, so you don't have to cook what you don't need and worry about your food going bad and wasting your money, right?
I usually just pull these out and throw them in the sink, and then when I'm ready to get them marinated, I toss them in a Ziploc bag. I usually take two lemons. You can also do limes, but I take two lemons and roll them out gently, soften them up, cut them open. And I squeeze just the fresh lemon right in the Ziploc bag. The lemon adds a lot of pop. The nice thing is everyone's going to get a good flavor, so everyone who's looking for those tastes bud satisfactions, you're going to find it with that.
And then I just add in a little bit of parsley and then a little bit of garlic powder just to kind of balance it out. And it just adds enough flavor to it. When you cook them, I grill mine, and I like to grill all season long, so sorry, husband, if you're watching this unfortunately he's having to run out there even in the cold some days. If it gets too cold, we will go inside.
Cast iron pans are a secret tool for those in and our MetabolizePMD, keto, low carb program. I'll tell you what, it's a time-saver and it tastes fantastic, but keeps you warm when can't go outside. But just on the grill four minutes, about 3-4 minutes, it depends on your your grill and how hot it gets. So pay attention to that on each side.
Side Dish: Asparagus
And then for a side dish, what I like to do is just get fresh asparagus. I give a good rinse to them, spray them on my pan, set the oven to 375. I coat it with olive oil and then put a little bit of sea salt for taste on it. A little bit of pepper on there, bake that for about 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus that you found at the store. And of course to your personal tastes, we like our little crispier so I have a tendency to cook mine a little bit longer. And it's a great, easy win. And again, that's not a big time constraint.
Plenty of Recipe Ideas Readily Available (Google, DietDoctor, Etc)
My recipes I shared with you today are my personal just time-saver ones. When I don't have a lot of time to go in there, where you're running around or you just don't like to be in the kitchen very long, that's fine. For those who are looking for a little bit more recipes out there, you can definitely look at places like DietDoctor.
You can Google anything. Wholesome, yum has tons of recipes. Just make sure if you are doing low carb or you're here with the MetabolizePMD program, that it has the full nutritional facts for you so that you can actually gauge your day well and that they're not kind of twisting low carb or anything like that on you. Make sure you know what you're looking at.
More Crock-Pot Ideas
"Any good crock pot ideas?"
The soup ones are going to be really super easy. Those are the ones I typically do. And it depends on if you're doing keto or low carb. So mine right now is definitely the broccoli and cheese soup. Those are great. And then I've been doing a chili with cauliflower. Just watch those chili with beans. You want to rotate those and look at your options. And then honestly, you can throw in any meat that you want.
We did a pot roast the other night and did some just seasoning on top of it. Add in your low carb vegetables, put in some bone broth and wallah. You have dinner in a nice warm stew for the night.
So there's a lot more out there. If you want me to send you anything specifically, shoot me an email and I will send you a link to things that I think are a great option, and then just kind of keep them tucked away on the side, because the nice thing is the soups, you can always freeze them and heat them up later if you're making in bulk and you're not going to eat them all that week. That's what I like to do, is we'll make them and then maybe wait a week or so, bring them back out of the freezer, defrost them and use them that way.
So that's been easy. My kids love cheese soup because who doesn't love cheese. So we use that as a Crock-Pot recipe as well. So those are easy to do too. The handout was useful to you. It's a great resource. There's a lot of great resources out there
What's the Difference Between Keto and Low-Carb?
Another quick question is the difference between keto and a low carb. Excellent question. So keto, you're going to go a lot further lower in your total carbs per day. So generally when someone's going keto, they're going to be eating about 20 to 40 grams of carbs per day. This is really to get your insulin not online is what I call it.
So we want to really have that have a bigger impact on your blood sugars, on your metabolic syndrome, health issues that you may be occurring, and the weight will actually drop a little bit faster for you, too.
Some people may not want to do all of that and that's okay and you can still be successful in what's called a low carb diet. So the general rule of a low carb diet is going to be about 100 grams of total carbs per day or less.
You can kind of start softly and say, I'm going to eat about 80 to a hundred and most people can live this lifestyle. This is a lifestyle, this isn't "I'm going to do this for four weeks and then go back to my way." You can manage this.
And then you can sit somewhere, a moderate is going to be somewhere about 50 to 80. And again, people can sustain this. You can sustain this for years. This is not again, something that you can just do for months and hop off. You can definitely stay on. I personally stay in that mid-range as well, and I've been doing so for years and I can rotate in, I can add foods that I want. My family's happy. It's easy to meal plan.
I think the big thing is just make sure when you're doing a low carb, is get an understanding of what it is, where you are going to be comfortable starting, knowing where your carbohydrate grams are coming from, and how you can better assess them and make those changes.
And here with PartnerMD, again, your coaches are going to be your best asset on this so that we can really guide you correctly and safely to your comfort level and also to your personal lifestyle. I mean, because that's what coaches do, is to really make sure to balance this in your world well and for your environment and those around you. So hopefully that answers that question.