What is Ketosis and Why is it Beneficial?
Ketosis is a natural body process that occurs when low amounts of carbohydrates are eaten, either through fasting or through a low-carb, high fat/protein diet. Ketones are produced in the liver and are usable as energy in the body instead of glucose from carbohydrate metabolism. Regular pasta is typically considered off-limits for a keto diet, although it may be less harmful as a part of an overall low-carb diet than once thought. For a truly keto diet, however, regular pasta is out of bounds. Luckily for pasta lovers, there are still plenty of low-carb and keto-friendly options out there!
Keto Diet Pasta Menu Selections
Appetizer: Shirataka Noodle Pho
Appetizer: Asian Ginger Kelp Noodle Salad
First Course: Fettuccini Alfredo with Lemon Garlic Chicken
Second Course: Wild Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Italian Sausage
Dessert: Konjac Noodle Cacao Truffles
Shirataka Noodle Pho
Start to finish: 45 minutes (30 minutes active)
Pasta: Shirataka – traditional Japanese noodle made from the konjac yam. Find it at your local Asian grocer, health food store, or even Walmart. This warming and nourishing Vietnamese comfort food is sure to have anyone on a keto diet singing your praises.
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
- 1 (4 inch) piece ginger, peeled and quartered
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
- 6 cups beef bone broth
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos, tamari or gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (make sure it’s sugar free)
- 1/2 pound grass-fed sirloin steak, sliced very thinly
- 16 oz shirataki noodles, rinsed
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 lime, quartered
- hot sauce, optional
- Mix together all broth ingredients in a large pot. Bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and continue simmering for 30 minutes.
- While the broth is simmering, put the beef on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 15 minutes. The edges of the beef should feel firm to the touch, but the beef should not be frozen through.
- Remove the beef from the freezer and use your sharpest knife to slice the beef into very thin slices. Slice across the grain. Aim for slices no thicker than 1/4-inch. Once sliced, keep the beef covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Rinse the shirataki noodles with warm water for 3 minutes.
5.After the broth has simmered, strain out the onions and spices. Return the broth to the soup pot. Place the broth back over low heat and keep it just below a simmer — there should be steam, but the broth should not be boiling.
- Divide the rinsed noodles between 4 serving bowls and top with a few slices of raw beef, arrange in a single layer so the slices cook evenly in the broth.
- Ladle the steaming broth into each bowl, pouring it evenly over the beef in order to cook it. The beef should immediately start to turn opaque.
- Top each bowl with scallions and cilantro and squeeze 1 quarter lime into each bowl. Add hot sauce, if desired.
Adapted from a recipe found on the Resolution Eats blog.
Asian Ginger Kelp Noodle Salad
With a base of almond butter instead of peanuts, and just a hint of spice, this Asian themed cold salad is sure to be a hit. Kelp noodles are a fun keto-friendly option, since they are super low-carb and nearly flavorless they are a great base for many recipes.
Start to finish: 80 minutes (active 20 minutes)
Pasta: Kelp noodles
- 1 tbsp mild olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1” section fresh ginger root, grated
- 3 spring onions diced
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 1/4 cabbage, shredded
- 1 pack kelp noodles
- 1 tbs almond butter
- 2 tbs gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
- Heat the olive oil in a wok or large saucepan on a medium heat and add the garlic, ginger and onions. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until softened, then add the rest of the veggies.
- While the vegetables are cooking, prepare your shirataki noodles by emptying them out of the packet and rinsing them well with warm water. Add them in with the vegetables.
- Thoroughly mix the almond butter and soy sauce by hand or with an emulsion blender.
- Once the noodles and vegetables are soft, add the almond butter and soy sauce mixture, mixing throughout noodle/veggie mixture. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Fettuccini “Alfredo” with Lemon Garlic Chicken
Start to finish: 10 hours, 35 minutes (active time 35 minutes)
Pasta: Cappello’s Fettucine – almond based, look for it in the freezer section. This rich, traditional tasting alfredo is delicious enough to fool some dairy lovers! Marinate the chicken overnight for the best flavor.
- ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 small onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup bone broth
- 1 pound bone-in chicken thighs
- ½ lemon, cut in thin slices
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbs gluten free tamari
- ¼ cup chicken broth/bone broth
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Soak the cashews overnight. For a speedier method, soak for 10 minutes in boiling water. Use ½ cup of the broth to simmer the chopped onion and minced garlic on medium heat. Once onion and garlic are translucent and most of the broth is evaporated, add the cooked onion/garlic mixture and the other ½ cup of broth with the rest of the sauce ingredients to a Vitamix or other high-powered blender. Blend until totally smooth. Set aside.
Marinate chicken in minced garlic, tamari, sea salt and lemon slices (overnight if possible). Cook pasta according to package instructions. Sautee chicken in coconut oil, olive oil (low heat) or grass-fed lard on each side until brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth and cover with a lid, allow to cook for another 5 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees. Serve the chicken over the pasta, thoroughly mixed with sauce.
Wild Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Italian Sausage
Start to finish: 35 minutes (15 minutes active)
1 spaghetti squash
1 pound bulk spicy Italian sausage
- 1 cup wild greens like dandelion or purslane
- ½ cup fresh basil
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
In a high-powered blender or food processor combine all ingredients for sauce until smooth. Cook sausage in a pan over medium heat. Prepare spaghetti squash by cutting in half, removing seeds, and baking in a glass baking pan with 3 to 4 tablespoons of water at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the “noodles” are tender and easily separate with a fork. Combine squash with pesto and top with sausage.
Konjac Noodle Cacao Truffles
Start to finish: 20 minutes (10 minutes active)
- 1 8oz bag shirataki pasta
- 2 medium egg whites
- 3 tbs raw cacao powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp liquid stevia
- Pinch sea salt
- Rinse shirataki pasta very well with warm water
- Cook the rinsed noodles in a pan over medium high heat until they lose translucency and begin to shrivel.
- Let the noodles cool and process them in a small hand blender or food processor
- Add remaining ingredients and blend into moist batter
- Place by spoonful on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees
Adapted from the recipe found on Genius Kitchen.