Category Archives: I Made That!

I tried and Loved the Keto Diet

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I have to preface this by saying that I initially began the ketogenic diet, only, I repeat only to prove to my mother that it works, so that she will blindly follow me into a healthier lifestyle! Ahhh the joys of having a desi mother! She tunes my voice out, completely when I speak to her about her health or diet, unless I drop a dramatic amount of weight. A dramatic amount of weight, would be mean when she sees me she feels this urgency within her to feed me! It is truly laughable, but also cute and frustrating all at the same time!

Once I got the hang of this diet I really did love it! I felt satisfied and happy, and at first the pounds didn’t fall off, but slowly but surely the “Woosh” happened and I dropped first 4 extra pounds and up until that point I watched my arms get slimmer, and hips, and basically all over. Clothes fit so much better, so I wasn’t too concerned about the weight, everything that I had read and seen from my friends, I knew it would come in wooshes. Now I must say before I put all these recipes up, I got a few ideas from Hope’s Keto Kitchen, which for the most part is a great group of people following the keto diet. The lady who runs the page, is amazingly helpful, and if I lived closer to her I would be buying her keto goodies.

Lets get down to it!

Prior to doing this, I was already doing intermittent fasting or IF for people who are all up on the lingo. I fast from 9pm to around 3pm the next day, and drink a ton of water with my coffee with MCT oil in it, and sugar free syrup, and instant espresso. I CANNOT survive without my coffee, and throughout the day it is my indulgence, and I don’t feel guilty at all about my indulgences. I use a gigantic bottle of water throughout the day with Nuun tablets dissolved in it to replenish my electrolytes and avocado oil (keto friendly) these tablets have 1net carb in them, which I personally think is worth it because of all the benefits it adds to your body. I also take instant ketones if I know I’ve got a full day ahead of me, to avoid the “low carb crash” that I ALWAYS get when I do any low carb diet. All of my items were bought on Amazon.ca

MCT oil:


Sugar Free syrup:


Espresso powder:


Nuun tablets:


Big Mother water bottle:


Instant Ketones:


Now When I first began the keto diet, I lived on bacon, bacon, all day every day, this was hard for me, because I don’t really eat bacon regularly but I got tired of that and decided to switch to soups and eggs.

Instant Pot Roasted Broccoli & Cheddar soup topped with oven baked bacon (any full fat bacon or meat without filler will work) This was super easy to make: Roasted the Broccoli in the oven I did it at 400 for 15 mins, until the tops of were brown I also chopped up the stem part and roasted it too! Then threw it in my instant pot with garlic salt, sea salt, onion powder, tumeric, chilli powder, mushrooms, half a stick of butter and two chopped up zucchini. I put the pot on Stew and added enough water to cover the vegetables so about 750ml. Then when the pot went off, I buzzed it all with the handheld food processor and added 1 cup of coconut flour, and 2 cups of old fort full fat cheddar cheese. Then I topped it with roasted bacon that I thew in the toaster oven while it the soup was cooking. My kids and hubby ate this for dinner with fresh bread, I ate it with chilli powder and was very, very satisfied.


Instant pot fish Stew with purple cabbage: This looked like a gross brown colour, but it tasted good. Again I put the frozen fish in my instant pot threw the spices over it, added purple cabbage (i would probably use the regular one next time) I used some chicken bone broth stock, and then set it to stew again. I pulsed it again to hide the veggies from my kids and husband, but you don’t have to. I also added the 1 cup of coconut flour to thicken it up and full white cheese. It was good, but not as big of a hit as the broccoli soup.


Cauliflower Mash: I have a surefire easy recipe for this, but I never get a chance to take a picture of it, because it gets inhaled!!!!!!!!!!!!  I make double the portion, and I have fooled my husband, My Desi Mom and children into thinking it was mashed potatoes! Cut up the cauliflower (1 use two), including the stem, boil it for 15 mins in your biggest pot, drain it, rinse it in COLD water to stop the cooking, dry it with bounty, it should still be pretty firm, you can even boil it for 10 mins, it should be pretty crunchy still throw it back in the pot and on a very low heat add butter, salt, garlic salt and onion powder and buzz it with the hand processor, add a bit of cream if it isn’t creamy enough. FULL FAT CREAM! I keep this in the fridge to eat for myself in the week. Update: I found the picture!!


Chilli Lime Green Beans: When I lived in Abu Dhabi, I was re-introduced to corn in a cup, it reminded me of my dad, because he would make this for me as a kid. So I made it keto friendly with Green Beans. I sauteed the green beans in roasted garlic puree, and butter! just until they changed colour so that they were crispy crunchy, then squeezed half of a lime (half a lime for 2 packs of green beans won’t throw you out of ketosis) and Red Chilli powder! like really throw on that chilli powder to make it stick to that butter!


I paired the beans with my turkey Nacho meat above!

Those green beans and Mash can be served up with so many things, to feel full and satisfied throughout the week.

Oven baked Chicken Thighs made with herbs and Ghee: I suggest making two batches of this because you will have leftovers, and you will like the leftovers. My kids never fight me on this meal! I do this shake and back style in like a big bag with herbs and seasonings, and then bake it on a sheet, once a week and they have it with cheesy rice and mushrooms, or pasta and butter and herbs (which i make fresh). The picture shows it with rice because I forgot to take a picture of mine.


Jeet’s chicken Recipe: I hate BBQ (ya I said it) but I only eat Jeet’s chicken if I eat BBQ! in a large ziplock I add chicken legs and breast, and add 1 cup of (full fat) yogurt, tumeric, tandoori spice, garam masala,black salt, and chilli powder. I stick it in the fridge and then bake it at 400 for 35-50 mins depending on your stove. I make it in my toaster over in batches because the longer it marinates the better it is (but don’t leave it in the fridge for more than 3 days) you can also grill it! Again I don’t have a picture of this because the smell of it makes everyone inhale it as soon as it is done. I eat this on a bed of fresh chopped cucumber and with half an avocado, for that full fat! I serve it over Orzo Salad for the kids and hubby, the chicken should be bright orange in colour when mixed with the yogurt and seasonings.


I know it isn’t fair that I’m posting carbs but usually not the whole family will be on this diet and I feel like you should be able to go on a diet and the whole family can eat differently without it being more work.
Turkey Nacho Dip: Sounds weird but oddly appetizing right? Basically I allow my kiddos to eat this on top of a bed of Nachos or french Fried, and I eat it on top of cucumbers or my green beans. I guess it would go well on the Cauliflower mash too! Basically sautee in one pot two packages of turkey meat with butter or coconut oil (with seasonings of your choice, I used garlic powder, onion powder, chilli powder and paprika), then add mushroom, and fresh spinach on top and cover the pot. Once the veggies are cooked, throw on some kind of shredded full fat cheese blend, and then cover to get it all melty and gooey. Everyone got their full amount of veggies for the day and all the plates were clean! You can also put this on top of spaghetti squash! That one is for you Tasneem and Mandeep!


Now this diet basically requires you to cut out sugar, this is difficult for someone like me who from the time I was in utero I was having sugar pumped into me! My mother loves to tell people the story that she only ate Indian rice pudding for her entire pregnancy!

My keto replacement for my sweet and salty cravings…

Ricotta Cheese with Cinnamon & Maple Syrup: Full fat Ricotta cheese, with a giant amount of cinnamon and two tablespoons or one of low carb maple syrup. Yes there is a such thing…The Canadian in me that it was sacrilege, but it tastes wonderful. I think i prefer the fact that it tastes more like maple sap, as opposed to syrup. It reminded me of being a kid and going sap tapping with our school trips in the cold, and they would put the sap on fresh snow! If you have never done this before, you need to do this! As you can tell this little snack is fantastic, since it brings back happy food memories for me! I also had this with a sliced almonds on top to cover the salty/Savoury craving.


Also eggs become a staple on this diet.

60 second poached eggs: I am going to let you in on my secret, use a ramekin, add half a cup of water, 2 tbsps of white vinegar and one cracked egg and microwave it for 60 seconds and you will have a perfectly poached egg, I eat eggs with avocado.

Scrambled eggs with heavy whipping cream or full fat Greek Yogurt (a few splashes) spinach and seasonings and sprinkled with feta and pepper.

Celery with Laughing Cow Cheese or Cheese Whiz: I mean this is an easy snack you can have ready quickly. Spread the cheese into the celery stalks eat, it is keto friendly.

TAKE OUT OPTIONS:

Gyro salad plate: I LOVE GYROs but carbs are not your friend on this plan, so I got a Gyro Plate, with extra full fat cheese, no tomatoes, olives and olive oil and tzakiki as my dressing! Gyro is lamb meat with 2.2g of carbs. and the good fats of olive oil fall into keto.


Chicken Shawarma Salad: I didn’t take a picture but take out the tomatoes, add pickled turnips or any other low carb veggie, when in doubt google low carb veggies (this is what i do).

Vietnamese Pho: If you live in Vaughan I would suggest Ox Noodle. The owners are amazing and will make you a double meat, Pho, it isn’t very high in fat, so if you eat this, indulge in a few fat bombs after eating this. I have actually asked for just a small amount of noodles on days when I know my body needs more carbs and then add shirataki noodles to it (remember to rinse them first!)

Wow,
So did you make it to the bottom of this page? I hope so! I’ve been trying to change my lifestyle around completely for a long time so I truly hope that all of my research and development is helpful for you! As I said earlier my Mom is my Rock, a crazy rock, but mine and only mine, and I want her to be around to drive me crazy and tell me my house is dirty until she’s 100 at least!  Again I’m not a doctor, I’ve gone to university and have two degrees, so I am educated. You should make informed decisions about everything I’ve posted above, and consult your physician prior to starting any regime. This worked for me, and I hope it works for my mom and you!

Cheers!
 

 

 

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Nut Free, Egg free weekly dinners for the whole family! Keto, Paleo & Gluten friendly

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I’ve decided that sharing one recipe at a time can make it difficult to plan for a whole week. So this week, I made 4 different meals, and it is now Saturday and I still have leftovers! Some tweeks can be made to make these follow the Keto or paleo or gluten free diets 

The meals were as follows: 

White fish cooked in lemon butter with couscous and mixed veggies.


This one I pan fried the fish in the juice of one lemon and half a stick of butter, I just dipped them in breadcrumbs (since I don’t use eggs) and made the couscous and veggies in another pot at the same time. I used one package of frozen veggies the carrots and peas mix. Couscous is super easy to make, if you have some tomato sauce laying around it would taste really nice on top of the couscous and veg mix. That’s it, super simple. Follow the directions  on the box for couscous and throw the veggies in at the same time bring to a boil, cover and let sit. 
Chicken thighs with quinoa in a red pepper sauce (one-pot meal).


This I sautéed the chicken thighs in my new non stick pan with butter, turmeric and garlic and minced half a red onion. I puréed three peppers and once the chicken was browned I threw in the puréed peppers and 1 and half cups of quinoa, covered it and simmered it for approximately 15 mins. If the quinoa isn’t soft and fluffy at the end of the 15 then add a cup more water, stir it and cover again for 7 mins. Repeat that as necessary until the quinoa is fluffy! Serve it with cheese for the kiddos and hot sauce or cayenne pepper for the adults!
Vegetarian black bean chilly in lettuce wraps for the adults, and cheddar tortilla wraps for the kids.



There are 4 wraps on this plate and two people ate them lol in case anyone thinks I’m a pig, I am usually but I controlled myself lol

I mean was my masterpiece for the week, made in the instant pot! I soaked a whole bag of black beans or approx 3 and 1/2 cups in a bowl for 30 mins. I sautéed minced garlic, red onion, and mushroom and garlic salt, onion powder, turmeric, and cayenne. Once sautéed I added puréed Roma tomatoes (I’ve also made this with a jar of tomato sauce) and then added frozen organic corn. Covered the instant pot and set to chilli. While that was happening I made two cups of quinoa with vegetable stock! For the adults I served this on top of lettuce sprinkled with pepper, avocado slices then quinoa and the chilli on top sprinkled with cheese and a small bit of Greek yogurt. The kids I did in a cheddar wrap, they ate it and asked for more. We also ate this on leftover day, and today for dinner! Winner, winner, vegetarian dinner!!!

Tex mex style casserole over rice for the kids and without carbs for the adults


This was easy since I had my seasoning made, which consists of garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, sea salt, turmeric,  and cayenne pepper. I browned the ground beef in butter and red onions garlic and seasoning. Then threw it in a casserole dish,  threw in chopped Roma tomatoes, package of shredded cheese, and chives I grew and baked it for 30 mins at 350degrees. You could serve it over rice, or even leftover quinoa! 
This really helped me in the week not to be stressed and well fed. In case you didn’t already pick up on this, I use whole fat ingredients for myself and the family. It’s very close to the Keto or Paleo Diet, and I do personally take from them for myself alone, but I don’t make my kids eat super clean. Unfortunately tree nuts and eggs are basically in everything so I am forced to make almost everything from scratch. 

School lunches, both Nut Free & Egg Free!

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So I’ve now completed making lunches for the first two weeks of school. I must say it has been a successful week, because NOTHING, I REPEAT NOTHING HAS COME HOME!!


What I did was on Sunday while I was making dinner, I refused to sit down, and make my kids two varieties of wraps. 


For the wraps I used spinach wraps and regular wraps or tortillas. They both had no added sugar, and not as much salt as regular or even most whole wheat bread. We always accompany with two fruits and one veggie in the small planet box compartments. 

WRAP 1:

I had was slow roasted beef from natural selections, with old cheddar cheese and sliced dill pickles! This was a big hit with my kids, like Huge! Either on spinach or plain tortilla. 

WRAP 2:

Natural selections turkey with sliced Havarti and green apple slices! Again Boom! Huge hit!

Then I placed all ten wraps into a large bag and kept it in the fridge pulled a new one out every day and sliced on the diagonal, or you can slice it in pinwheels if your kids like that fancy schmancy stuff!

This weeks wraps were amazing! I know because we all taste tested

WRAP 3:

Apple butter, turkey, shredded mozzarella, cucumbers in an ancient grain wrap!

WRAP 4:

Apple butter, Black Forest ham, cucumbers and feta!

I forgot to take pictures of all the wraps but here is one lunch


My kids LOVE cucumbers! I gave them Ontario peaches and strawberries and a cup of yogurt (Liberte strawberry 2%)mixed with half a cup of Motts fruit and veggie sauce (mostly because my little one loves the combo and there is quite a bit of fibre in it) 

I write this for people who get mad that they have to deal with kids allergies at school, or parents who don’t know what to pack, or parents who want to get out of the norm of package foods, or even want to have their kids eat healthier. I really hope it helps!

Happy Back to school!!

Stay tuned for more homemade snacks without packaging!

Lebanese-esq ground beef and couscous

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So I was in the mood for something with a reminder of Middle East tastes, then I realized I have never exposed my kiddos to some of the flavours that I used to and still adore. What I made was a Lebanese style ground beef with couscous. I wanted to add spinach to this, but it had gone bad and the only frozen veggie I had was corn…it turned out fantastic!!!
What you need:

1 and 1/2lbs of lean ground beef 

1 red onion chopped 

1/2 bag of organic or regular corn (I find the organic tastes more like corn) 

1 tbsp of cinnamon

1 tbsp of all spice

1 tbsp of turmeric 

1 tbsp of garlic salt 

1 tbsp of Italian seasonings 

1 tbsp of onion powder

1 tbsp of sesame oil

4 tbsps of olive oil

Salt and cayenne pepper to taste!

With the ground beef and onion sauté all the seasonings and oil, once the beef is brown and the onions translucent then add the corn and 2 cups of water and simmer for about 20 mins or until the water has thickened up a bit, and serve over couscous. 

If you have never made couscous, it’s waaaay easier than rice. You boil 1 and 1/2 cups of water for every cup of couscous you  want. Boil the water with salt and 1tbsp of olive oil or butter and then once the water is boiling toss the couscous in, STIR, REMOVE FROM HEAT, cover and let sit for 5 mins. Fluff and then put the meat on top and ENJOY!!!
This meal has a subtle sweetness with no sugar added and it is very filling and flavourful!

Landscaping challenge 

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I live next door to a very wooded area, and they have rightfully banned neonicotinoids to save our bees so what did that leave me with; a huge plot of grass that was covered, COVERED in weeds. Not just the plain old dandelions but like giant creeping Charlie’s and these thorny cabbage looking weeds that grew like a few feet wide and tall!


Those pictures up there are the before pictures. 
Now please understand that I wanted to do something different that I would only have to maintain every so often. I didn’t want to have to water it and waste more water by replacing all the sod that was useless at this point. So I created this crazy idea in my head thanks to various Pinterest boards. Here my friends after weeks and weeks of work, and helping hands from friends and a wonderfully smart, and handy neighbourhood kid whom I hired along with his crew of friends, here I present to you the process pictures and the finished product.


All the landscaping fabric payed and nailed into the dirt.

In the brown dirt patch I’ve sowed creeping thyme seeds fingers crossed they grow!

I am proof that when you think outside the box, things can be beautiful! 

Also a big thank you, thank you to EVERYONE at Rock Valley in Vaughan (for all the top soil, mulch, gravel and all the great people who work there and are encouraging) and Terra for all the plants and their helpful staff also!

One Pot Tuna Pasta in 30 mins

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So it was 4pm the other day and I haven’t taken any protein out of my freezer and for some reason the day got away from me and my kid was like I want dinner ( he burned off a lot of energy at school that day) so I did my best pantry meal!

3 cans of tuna (I used flaked packed in water) 

1 bottle of PC Marinara sauce (this sauce is very good,I use homemade when I can)

1box of pasta (I used alphabet pasta, which the kids LOVE, I guess there is something about eating your words lol)

1 bag of frozen peas 

1 chunk of frozen spinach

Garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric and sea salt and red chilli flakes for taste (I don’t measure these I throw it in and then taste) 

Step 1:

cook pasta and drain and set aside, simple enough right? 7-8 mins

Step 2:

In the same pot, quickly sauté Tuna, just a bit, then add peas, spinach, seasonings and tomato sauce, 3/4 of one extra jar of water, stir and  boil on medium to high (covered to avoid splashing on your black splash) for 10-20 mins stirring regularly and you are done as soon as the sauce is as think as you would like it. 

Step 3:

Serve sauce over pasta and done! Oh and if you are on a low carb diet I ate mine with Shirataki noodles which are zero calories and zero carbs (you have to rinse these in cold water and then sauté them with the sauce for about 5 mins and they taste even better the next day when they have been soaking in the sauce over night) 

These ones above are the shirataki noodles I use!