Chapter 2

Keto Break-the-Fast Dishes

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When’s breakfast? It’s whenever you have your first meal of the day, whether that’s in the morning or not. Some people like to eat as soon as they wake up—but if you’re like me, you might want to wait until the afternoon to have your first meal. Either way is fine: even if you skip meals like I do, there’s no need to miss out on your breakfast favorites whenever you’re ready to eat.

This chapter features lots of healthy, sweet and savory breakfast meals that’ll provide plenty of fat-fueled energy, helping you stay full for longer. There are plenty of options, even if you have food allergies: if you can’t tolerate eggs, make the Easy Breakfast Italian Bake; or if dairy isn’t your friend, try the Abundance Breakfast Bowls and the California Crab Cakes. Don’t feel like eating meat in the morning? Make a batch of Green Skillet Eggs or Jalapeño & Cheese Muffins. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll love warm Crispy Cinnamon Waffles served with your favorite Flavored Butter. Breakfast is about to become your favorite meal!

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Cheesy Spinach Pancakes

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Simplicity is the key to success when you’re new to a healthy, low-carb diet. And these savory pancakes check all the boxes! Plus they’re high in micronutrients, low in carbs, and great for batch cooking. Don’t limit them to breakfast: add them to your lunchbox for a complete meal on the go.

14.1 ounces (400 g) frozen spinach, drained

8 large eggs

1 cup (90 g/3.2 oz) finely grated Parmesan

1/4 cup (37 g/1.3 oz) chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons (16 g/0.6 oz) coconut flour

1 tablespoon (5 g/0.2 oz) dried Italian herbs

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons (30 g/1.1 oz) ghee or duck fat

Optional: sliced avocado, cooked bacon, and Sriracha sauce for serving

Defrost the spinach (in a microwave oven or in the fridge overnight). Squeeze out as much moisture as possible (you will end up with about half of the original weight). Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the drained spinach, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, coconut flour, Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.

Heat a large skillet greased with the ghee over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, use a 1/3-cup measure to make 3 to 4 pancakes at a time. Shape them into small pancakes in the pan using a spatula. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm enough to flip onto the other side, and then cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat for the remaining pancakes. Serve warm, or let cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Optionally, serve with avocado, cooked bacon, and Sriracha sauce.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (2 PANCAKES):

Total carbs: 6.5 g / Fiber: 3 g / Net carbs: 3.5 g / Protein: 17 g / Fat: 16.9 g / Calories: 244 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (6%), protein (29%), fat (65%)

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Spicy Chorizo Cloud Eggs

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“Egg nests,” also known as “cloud eggs,” are a recent social media phenomenon. Think of them as savory, low-carb meringues. They may look sophisticated, but don’t worry: they’re actually very easy to make. Here’s my take on this fun-to-eat, keto-friendly meal.

2 large eggs

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar or apple cider vinegar

1 ounce (28 g) Spanish chorizo or pepperoni, chopped

1 (14 g/0.5 oz) jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

1/3 cup (37 g/1.3 oz) grated Cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon (4 g/0.2 oz) chopped chives

Pinch of sea salt and black pepper

1 medium (150 g/5.3 oz) avocado, sliced

1 cup (30 g/1.1 oz) leafy greens, such as spinach, arugula, or watercress

Optional: 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Sriracha sauce

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C, or gas mark 8). Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks carefully. Reserve the egg yolks: return them to the broken shells, place them in the egg carton, and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Add the chorizo, jalapeño, Cheddar, and chives, folding them in gently with a rubber spatula.

Place a piece of heat-resistant parchment paper or a silicone mat on a baking tray. Create 2 mounds on the baking tray from the egg white mixture and create small wells in the center of each so they look like nests. Bake for about 3 minutes. Then carefully add the reserved egg yolks to the center of each nest. Season with salt and pepper, and bake for 3 minutes more. Serve with avocado and leafy greens. Top with Sriracha sauce, if desired.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING:

Total carbs: 8.7 g / Fiber: 5.6 g / Net carbs: 3.1 g / Protein: 16.5 g / Fat: 27.9 g / Calories: 343 kcal Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (4%), protein (20%), fat (76%)

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Breakfast Chili Bowls

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Who said you can’t have chili for breakfast? Not me! These hearty, nutritious breakfast bowls are packed with sunny flavors—think ancho chiles, cumin, and cilantro—and there’s nothing better for warming your tummy on a cold winter’s day.

Breakfast Chili:

1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) ghee or duck fat

1 small (70 g/2.5 oz) yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1.1 pounds (500 g) ground beef

1 tablespoon (5 g/0.2 oz) dried oregano

1 tablespoon (7 g/0.2 oz) paprika

1 tablespoon (6 g/0.2 oz) mild chile powder, such as ancho chile

1 tablespoon (5 g/0.2 oz) ground cumin

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 can (400 g/14.1 oz) tomatoes

1 cup (240 ml) water

1 medium (200 g/7.1 oz) zucchini, diced

1 medium (120 g/4.2 oz) green pepper, diced

1 medium (120 g/4.2 oz) red pepper, diced

1 (14 g/0.5 oz) jalapeño pepper, diced

Sea salt

Toppings (per bowl):

1 large egg, fried or poached (see here)

1/4 medium (40 g/1.4 oz) avocado, sliced

1 slice (16 g/0.6 oz) crispy bacon, crumbled

Black pepper, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges for garnish

Heat a large skillet greased with ghee. Cook the onion over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, and then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beef, oregano, paprika, chile powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the beef is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Finally, add the zucchini, peppers, and jalapeño. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Remove from the heat, add salt to taste, and serve (about 1 cup/240 g per serving) with fried or poached eggs, avocado, crispy bacon, black pepper, cilantro, and lime wedges. To store the chili, let it cool, then refrigerate for up to 4 days (minus the toppings). Reheat as needed.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING:

Total carbs: 13.2 g / Fiber: 5.8 g / Net carbs: 7.4 g / Protein: 28.2 g / Fat: 32.2 g / Calories: 449 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (7%), protein (26%), fat (67%)

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Pizza Dutch Baby

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Never had a Dutch baby before? It tastes a lot better than it sounds: it’s a light and fluffy cross between a pancake and soufflé, and it makes such a satisfying breakfast or brunch. In this low-carb, margherita pizza–inspired version, I’ve replaced wheat flour with finely grated Parmesan cheese.

4 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) ghee or duck fat

1/2 cup (45 g/1.6 oz) grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/3 cup (80 g/2.8 oz) marinara sauce (shown here)

4 ounces (113 g) fresh mozzarella, sliced

1 tablespoon (4 g/0.2 oz) chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Carefully separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Reserve the egg yolks and set aside. Add the cream of tartar to the bowl with egg whites. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg white mixture until stiff peaks form.

Preheat the broiler to high. Grease an 8-inch (20-cm) skillet with ghee and place over medium heat. Gently fold the reserved egg yolks, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning into the whipped egg whites. Pour into the hot pan. Cook for 1 minute, then place the pan under the broiler and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, place it on a cooling rack, and top with the marinara sauce and mozzarella slices. Return the pan to the oven and broil for 5 to 8 minutes more, until the top is golden and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately, topped with fresh basil and seasoned with salt and pepper, or let cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (1/2 PANCAKE):

Total carbs: 5.8 g / Fiber: 0.8 g / Net carbs: 5 g / Protein: 34.9 g / Fat: 38.4 g / Calories: 513 kcal

MACRONUTRIENT RATIO: Calories from carbs (4%), protein (28%), fat (68%)

Breakfast Egg Muffins Two Ways

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Keep a batch of these egg muffins on hand so that you’ll always have a keto-friendly breakfast to grab as you’re running out the door in the morning. The Brie Egg Muffins are perfect for vegetarians, while the dairy-free Sausage-Zucchini version is ideal if you’re lactose intolerant.

Brie Egg Muffins:

2 tablespoons (30 g/1.1 oz) ghee or duck fat

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups (100 g/3.5 oz) sliced wild mushrooms

2 cups (100 g/3.5 oz) chopped kale, spinach, or chard

8 large eggs

1/2 cup (120 g/4.2 oz) ricotta cheese

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

5 ounces (142 g) Brie cheese, or blue, Swiss, or Cheddar cheese

Sausage-Zucchini Egg Muffins:

2 tablespoons (30 g/1.1 oz) ghee or duck fat

1 medium (100 g/3.5 oz) onion, finely chopped

14.1 ounces (400 g) gluten-free sausages, casings removed

8 large eggs

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream or coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 medium (150 g/5.3 oz) zucchini, cut into 12 slices

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C, or gas mark 4). Grease a muffin pan with 1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) of the ghee or duck fat.

TO MAKE THE BRIE EGG MUFFINS: Heat a skillet greased with the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) ghee over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the mushrooms and kale and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mushrooms are cooked and the kale is wilted, take off the heat and set aside. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with ricotta, salt, and pepper. Distribute the cooked mushroom-kale mixture among 12 muffin tins, top each with an equal portion of the egg mixture, and finish each with a slice of Brie cheese. Season with more black pepper and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and puffed up.

TO MAKE THE SAUSAGE-ZUCCHINI EGG MUFFINS: Heat a skillet greased with the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) ghee over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Add the sausage meat and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the cream, salt, and pepper. Distribute the cooked sausage meat between among 12 muffin tins, top each with an equal portion of the egg mixture, and finish each with a slice of zucchini. Season with more black pepper and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and puffed up.

Egg muffins are delicious served warm or cold. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.

NUTRITION FACTS PER MUFFIN (BRIE/SAUSAGE):

Total carbs: 1.5/1.9 g / Fiber: 0.3/0.3 g / Net carbs: 1.2/1.6 g / Protein: 8.1/9.4 g / Fat: 10.3/20 g / Calories: 132/228 kcal / Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (4/3%), protein (25/17%), fat (71/80%)

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Cheesy Waffle Stacks

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There’s no need to say good-bye to waffles just because you’re following a keto lifestyle. These savory, quick-prep fat stacks feature cheese and cauliflower rice instead of wheat flour. Top them with homemade guacamole and they’re sure to keep you full for hours.

Quick Guacamole:

2 medium (300 g/10.6 oz) avocados, pitted and peeled

1/2 small (35 g/1.2 oz) yellow onion, chopped

3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh lime juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 cup (75 g/2.5 oz) chopped cherry or regular tomatoes

Fresh cilantro, sea salt, and black pepper

Waffles:

1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) ghee or duck fat

1/2 medium (35 g/1.2 oz) yellow onion, chopped

11/2 cups (180 g/6.3 oz) cauliflower rice

3 large eggs

1/3 cup (30 g/1.1 oz) grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup (28 g/1 oz) grated mozzarella

2 tablespoons (16 g/0.6 oz) coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Fried Eggs:

1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) ghee or duck fat

4 large eggs

TO MAKE THE GUACAMOLE: In a bowl, mash the avocados until chunky. Add the onion, lime juice, garlic, and tomatoes, and mix until well combined. Add the cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste, and set aside. To store, keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

TO MAKE THE WAFFLES: Grease a skillet with the ghee and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Then add the cauliflower rice and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

In a bowl, combine the cooked cauliflower rice, eggs, Parmesan, mozzarella, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Spoon the batter (1/4 of the total amount per waffle) into a preheated waffle maker, close, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until crisp and cooked through. Transfer the waffles to a plate and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Store any leftover waffles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

TO MAKE THE FRIED EGGS: Then, fry the eggs. Grease the pan with the ghee and place over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the eggs. Cook until the egg whites are opaque and the egg yolks are still runny.

To assemble, place one waffle on a plate and top with the prepared guacamole and fried egg. Serve immediately.

NOTE: Get creative! Instead of waffles, try panfried bacon slices, or small patties made with sausage meat, ground beef, or pork.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (1 WAFFLE + GUACAMOLE + FRIED EGG):

Total carbs: 14.4 g / Fiber: 7.4 g / Net carbs: 7 g / Protein: 19 g / Fat: 31 g / Calories: 405 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (7%), protein (20%), fat (73%)

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Green Skillet Eggs

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Stuffed with nutrient-dense leafy greens, potassium-packed zucchini, and choline-rich eggs, this ten-minute meal is one of my favorite vegetarian breakfasts, but it makes a great light lunch or dinner in a pinch, too.

1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) ghee or duck fat

1/2 small (35 g/1.2 oz) yellow onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup (124 g/4.4 oz) diced zucchini

2 cups (72 g/2.5 oz) leafy greens such as collards, spinach, or Swiss chard

2 large eggs

Sea salt, black pepper, and (optionally) red pepper flakes

Optional: sliced avocado for serving

Grease a skillet with the ghee, and add the onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned. Add the zucchini and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the greens (chopped or whole), and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a spatula, create 2 wells in the vegetable mixture and crack in the eggs. Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the egg white is almost cooked through. Then cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 1 minute more. (Alternatively, place the skillet under the broiler for 1 minute, or until the egg whites are cooked through and the egg yolks are still runny.) Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, if you like. Serve immediately—perhaps with some avocado.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING:

Total carbs: 12.4 g / Fiber: 4.8 g / Net carbs: 7.6 g / Protein: 16.8 g / Fat: 25.4 g / Calories: 340 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (9%), protein (21%), fat (70%)

Greek Omelet

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Versatile, low in carbs, and highly nutritious, omelets are a keto staple! Half of this Mediterranean-style omelet will be enough as a regular breakfast, while a whole omelet will provide you with enough energy if you practice intermittent fasting (see here) and need an extra-hearty meal to keep you going until dinner.

2 tablespoons (30 g/1.1 oz) ghee, divided

1/2 medium (60 g/2.1 oz) green pepper, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups (60 g/2.1 oz) fresh spinach

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint or 1/4 teaspoon dried mint

3 large eggs

Sea salt and black pepper

1/3 cup (50 g/1.8 oz) chopped cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup (38 g/1.3 oz) crumbled feta cheese

4 (12 g/0.4 oz) black or green olives, sliced

2 teaspoons (10 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Grease a skillet with 1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) of the ghee and add the green pepper. Cook over medium-high for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the spinach and herbs (reserve a pinch of the herbs for topping), and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Grease the skillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) ghee. In a bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once the skillet is hot, pour in the eggs. Use a spatula to fold the eggs from the sides of the pan toward the center for the first 30 seconds. Tilt the pan as needed to cover it with the eggs. Lower the heat and cook for 1 minute more. Don’t rush it, and don’t try to cook it too fast, or the omelet will end up being too crispy and dry. When the top is almost cooked, add the reserved vegetable mixture. Top with the tomatoes, feta, olives, and remaining herbs. Drizzle with the olive oil, fold the omelet in half, cook for another minute to warm up the toppings, and slide onto a serving plate.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (1/2 OMELET):

Total carbs: 5.6 g / Fiber: 1.9 g / Net carbs: 3.7 g / Protein: 13.6 g / Fat: 31.8 g / Calories: 362 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (4%), protein (15%), fat (81%)

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Sausage & Brussels Sprout Hash

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This hash makes the perfect weekend breakfast: it’s a great way to use up any leftover vegetables that have been lurking in the fridge all week. Don’t have Brussels sprouts? No problem: try it with kale, cabbage, or even chard, and serve it topped with fried or poached eggs or sliced avocado.

2 tablespoons (30 g/1.1 oz) ghee or duck fat

4 slices (60 g/2.1 oz) bacon

1/2 small (35 g/1.2 oz) yellow onion, chopped

10.6 ounces (300 g) gluten-free Italian-style sausages, casing removed

1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) Dijon mustard

10.6 ounces (300 g) white mushrooms, sliced

14.1 ounces (400 g) Brussels sprouts, sliced

1/4 cup (60 ml) water

Sea salt and pepper

4 large eggs, or 1 large (200 g/7.1 oz) avocado, sliced

Heat a large skillet greased with the ghee over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for about 5 minutes, until lightly crispy. Add the onion and cook for another 5 minutes, then add the sausage meat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more. Add the mustard, mushrooms, and Brussels sprouts. Add the water, mix, and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are tender. To serve, use a spatula to create 4 wells in the mixture and crack in the eggs. Cook until the egg whites are opaque and the egg yolks are still runny. Season with salt and pepper. If you’re not serving immediately, don’t add the eggs; let the meat-vegetable mixture cool and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Serve with freshly fried or poached eggs or with sliced avocado.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING:

Total carbs: 13.2 g/ Fiber: 4.8 g / Net carbs: 8.4 g / Protein: 125 g / Fat: 40.5 g / Calories: 511 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (7%), protein (20%), fat (73%)

Easy Breakfast Italian Bake

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This six-ingredient breakfast bake is a low-carb, dairy-free riff on lasagna—except it calls for sausage and vitamin-rich broccoli in place of unhealthy, high-carb noodles. It couldn’t be simpler to make, but its payoff is huge. Prepare it the night before, and you’ll have breakfast taken care of for the next few days!

1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) ghee or duck fat

10.6 ounces (300 g) gluten-free Italian-style sausages, casing removed

2/3 cup (160 g/5.6 oz) marinara sauce (shown here)

11/2 cups (170 g/6 oz) shredded mozzarella

7.1 ounces (200 g) broccoli florets or broccolini

4 tablespoons (20 g/0.7 oz) grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Heat a skillet greased with the ghee over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until browned on all sides. Add about half of the marinara sauce to the skillet and remove from the heat. Distribute the sausage-marinara mixture evenly among 4 mini baking dishes (or use one regular-size dish). Top with half of the mozzarella, the broccoli florets, and the remaining marinara sauce. Top with the remaining mozzarella and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Serve warm, or let cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING:

Total carbs: 7.9 g / Fiber: 1.8 g / Net carbs: 6.1 g / Protein: 25.3 g / Fat: 43.7 g / Calories: 526 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (5%), protein (20%), fat (75%)

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Jalapeño & Cheese Muffins

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Moist and utterly delicious, these spicy, cheesy muffins are miniature powerhouses. They make a filling breakfast, but they’re also yummy additions to lunchboxes, and work well as accompaniments to Salisbury Steak with Quick Mash or Mexican Chicken Bowls.

6 large eggs

1/3 cup (80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter

1/4 cup (60 ml) water

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 medium (200 g/7.1 oz) zucchini, grated

11/2 cups (170 g/6 oz) grated Cheddar cheese

2 (28 g/1 oz) jalapeño peppers, finely chopped

1 cup (100 g/3.5 oz) almond flour

1/3 cup (40 g/1.4 oz) coconut flour

4 tablespoons (28 g/1 oz) flax meal

2 teaspoons onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C, or gas mark 4). Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with the olive oil, water, salt, and pepper. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Spoon the mixture into a silicone muffin pan to make 12 muffins (or use a regular muffin pan greased with a small amount of ghee). Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the insides are set and fluffy. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. While the muffins are still warm, remove them from the muffin pan and place on a cooling rack. To store, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (1 MUFFIN):

Total carbs: 4.8 g / Fiber: 2.4 g / Net carbs: 2.4 g / Protein: 9.7 g / Fat: 19 g / Calories: 226 kcal Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (4%), protein (18%), fat (78%)

Bubble & Squeak Breakfast Bake

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Bubble and squeak is a simple all-day English breakfast dish made with leftover veggies. The traditional recipe uses mashed potatoes, which acts as the “glue” that holds the dish together. To create the same effect and flavor with fewer carbs, I’ve replaced the mashed potatoes with cauliflower and a few beaten eggs. Serve with pickles, fried eggs, sausages, or avocado.

2 tablespoons (30 ml) duck fat or ghee

8 slices (240 g/8.5 oz) bacon, chopped

1 small (70 g/2.5 oz) yellow onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small (300 g/10.6 oz) cauliflower, chopped

1 small (300 g/10.6 oz) green cabbage, shredded

2 cups (200 g/7.1 oz) shredded Brussels sprouts,

1/4 cup (60 ml) water

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

Salt and black pepper

Heat a large deep-dish skillet greased with the duck fat over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy. Add the onion and cook for another 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the cauliflower, reduce the heat to medium, and cover with a lid. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and water. Cook, covered, for 2 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more. Mix in the eggs and cook until set, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, place the skillet under the broiler and cook for about 5 minutes until lightly golden and set. Season with salt and pepper.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING:

Total carbs: 9.7 g / Fiber: 3.8 g / Net carbs: 5.9 g / Protein: 12.4 g / Fat: 17.8 g / Calories: 240 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (10%), protein (21%), fat (69%)

California Crab Cakes

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Crab cakes are easy to dress up or down. Served with asparagus, avocado, and my Spicy Hollandaise Sauce, they make an elegant weekend brunch. You can also prepare a batch in advance and pop a couple into your lunchbox for a no-fuss workday lunch.

Crab Cakes:

1 pound (450 g) cooked or canned crabmeat

2 large eggs

1/4 cup (30 g/1.1 oz) coconut flour

2 tablespoons (14 g/0.5 oz) flax meal

1/4 cup (55 g/1.9 oz) mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce

2 tablespoons (8 g/0.3 oz) chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) ghee or duck fat

Spicy Hollandaise Sauce:

3 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons (45 ml) each fresh lemon juice and water

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/3 cup (80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20 g/0.7 oz) Sriracha

Salt and black pepper

Serve with (per serving):

6 to 10 asparagus spears (57 g/2 oz), woody ends removed

Optional: handful of fresh arugula

1/4 medium (40 g/1.4 oz) avocado, sliced

TO MAKE THE CRAB CAKES: Place all the ingredients except the ghee in a mixing bowl and combine. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup (about 55 g/1.9 oz) to measure out each patty. The mixture will be wet so you’ll need to use your hands to form the patties. Heat a large pan greased with the ghee over medium heat. Once hot, add as many patties as you can fit in a single layer, until you’ve cooked 12 patties in total. Cook them on each side for 4 to 5 minutes and use a spatula to flip them over. (Do not force the patties out of the pan: if a patty doesn’t release when you try to flip it, cook it for a few more seconds until it’s crisp and ready to flip.) Set the cooked patties aside.

TO MAKE THE HOLLANDAISE SAUCE: fill a medium saucepan with a cup of water and bring to a boil. Mix the egg yolks with the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons water, plus more if it's too thick, and the Dijon mustard. (Use the leftover egg whites to make focaccia shown here). Place the bowl over the saucepan filled with water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Keep mixing until the sauce starts to thicken. Slowly pour the olive oil into the mixture, and stir constantly until the sauce becomes thick and creamy. Stir in the Sriracha sauce, and season to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of water.

Boil the asparagus in a saucepan filled with salter water for about 2 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain and keep warm.

To serve, place a few asparagus spears, and, optionally arugula, on a plate. Top with crab cakes and avocado, and serve with hollandaise sauce. The crab cakes can be stored in the fridge (minus the toppings) for up to 4 days.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (2 CRAB CAKES + VEGETABLES + 2 TABLESPOONS/30 ML HOLLANDAISE SAUCE):

Total carbs: 9.7 g / Fiber: 5.6 g / Net carbs: 4.1 g / Protein: 21.5 g / Fat: 35.5 g / Calories: 437 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (4%), protein (20%), fat (76%)

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Abundance Breakfast Bowls

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Breakfast pancakes don’t have to be sweet. Here, spicy, savory, zucchini pancakes act as a base for all kinds of filling, low-carb toppings, such as sausage, avocado, kimchi, and egg. These breakfast bowls are nutritious, are good for your gut, and provide enough protein and fat to keep you going for hours.

Curried Zucchini Pancakes:

2 medium (400 g/14.1 oz) zucchini, grated

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons (4 g/0.2 oz) mild curry powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 large eggs

3 tablespoons (24 g/0.8 oz) coconut flour

2 tablespoons (8 g/0.3 oz) chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, or mint

2 tablespoons (30 ml) duck fat or ghee, divided

Serve with (per serving):

2 pieces (134 g/4.7 oz) gluten-free sausages

1 cup (30 g/1.1 oz) spinach or other soft leafy greens

1/4 large (50 g/1.8 oz) avocado, sliced

1/4 medium (50 g/1.8 oz) cucumber, sliced

1/4 cup (35 g/1.2 oz) kimchi or sauerkraut, drained

1 large egg, soft-boiled, fried, or poached (see here)

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Pinch of salt and red pepper flakes

TO MAKE THE PANCAKES: Combine the zucchini and salt in a large bowl. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes, then squeeze out the extra liquid with your hands. Place the drained zucchini into another bowl. After draining, you should end up with about 9.5 ounces (270 g) of zucchini.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the duck fat, to the bowl with the drained zucchini and mix until well combined. Grease a large pan with a tablespoon (15 ml) of the duck fat. Scoop some of the zucchini mixture into a 1/3-cup (80 ml) measuring cup to measure out the pancakes. Place 3 to 4 pancakes at a time in the hot pan, and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Use a spatula to flip them over. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a plate, and repeat for the remaining mixture until you’ve make 8 pancakes, greasing with more ghee as needed.

Once the pancakes are cooked, add the sausages. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through.

Serve the pancakes with the cooked sausages, spinach, avocado, cucumber, kimchi, and egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. Season with salt to taste, and serve immediately.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (2 PANCAKES + ALL SERVING OPTIONS):

Total carbs: 15 g / Fiber: 7.7 g / Net carbs: 7.3 g / Protein: 38.1 g / Fat: 48.6 g / Calories: 642 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (5%), protein (25%), fat (70%)

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PB & Jelly Chia Parfaits

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Based on everyone’s favorite lunchtime treat, these breakfast parfaits are naturally sweetened with blackberries and call for paleo-friendly almond butter instead of peanut butter. Plus, MCT oil adds an extra energy boost and helps keep you full until lunch. Sweeteners are optional—but best avoided during the induction phase—in this guilt-free, low-carb breakfast.

Chia Layer:

1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut milk

2 tablespoons (32 g/1.1 oz) almond butter, preferably roasted almond butter

2 tablespoons (30 ml) MCT oil, or MUFA-based mild-tasting oil (see here)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or ground cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup (32 g/1.1 oz) whole chia seeds

Optional: 2 tablespoons (20 g/0.7 oz) powdered erythritol or Swerve, or 5 to 10 drops liquid stevia extract

Jelly Layer:

1 cup (144 g/5 oz) blackberries, fresh or frozen

3 tablespoons (45 ml) water

1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

Optional: 1 tablespoon (10 g/0.4 oz) erythritol or Swerve, or a few drops of stevia, to taste

1 tablespoon (8 g/0.3 oz) whole chia seeds

To Assemble:

1/4 cup (64 g/2.2 oz) almond butter, preferably roasted almond butter

TO MAKE THE CHIA LAYER: Place all the ingredients, except the chia seeds, into a blender. Pulse until smooth and then pour into a bowl. Add the chia seeds and erythritol or stevia, if using, and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, or overnight.

TO MAKE THE JELLY LAYER: Place the blackberries, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and erythritol, if using, into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to soften, then remove from the heat. Mix in the chia seeds and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes.

TO ASSEMBLE: Divide the prepared chia layer among 4 jars. Top each with the blackberry jelly, followed by a tablespoon (16 g/0.5 oz) of almond butter each. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING:

Total carbs: 13.5 g / Fiber: 8.6 g / Net carbs: 4.9 g / Protein: 7.9 g / Fat: 28.9 g / Calories: 351 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (6%), protein (10%), fat (84%)

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Crispy Cinnamon Waffles

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These fragrant cinnamon waffles are just what you need on a Sunday morning. And because they only take fifteen minutes to whip up, you won’t have to spend all morning in the kitchen, either. They’re especially irresistible when served with your favorite sweet Flavored Butter (shown here).

11/2 cups (150 g/5.3 oz) almond flour

1 tablespoon (8 g/0.3 oz) psyllium husk powder

2 teaspoons (4 g/0.2 oz) ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder, or 1 teaspoon sugar-free vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (20 g/0.7 oz) granulated erythritol or Swerve

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or fresh lemon juice

2 large eggs

1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened almond or cashew milk

2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut oil for greasing

Optional per serving: 1/2 to 3/4 ounce (10 to 20 g) of any sweet Flavored Butter (shown here), and few slices of crispy bacon (shown here)

Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and combine well. Add the eggs and almond milk, and mix well until you create a loose cookie dough–like batter. To make each waffle, spoon about 1/4 cup/60 g of the batter into a greased, preheated waffle maker, close, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until crisped up and cooked through. Re-grease as needed until you make 8 waffles. Transfer the waffles to a plate and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Store any leftover waffles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (2 WAFFLES):

Total carbs: 10.3 g / Fiber: 5.9 g / Net carbs: 4.4 g / Protein: 11.4 g / Fat: 22.3 g / Calories: 265 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (7%), protein (17%), fat (76%)

Chocolate Soufflé Pancake with Pumpkin Pie Swirl

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Treats like pancakes aren’t usually allowed on a keto diet, right? Wrong! You can enjoy this indulgent chocolate soufflé pancake and still stay within your carb limit. And its presentation is so impressive: I’ve made several variations of these fluffy pancakes, and they’re a big hit on social media.

4 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or apple cider vinegar

Pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup (40 g/1.4 oz) powdered erythritol or Swerve, divided

2 tablespoons (10 g/0.4 oz) cacao powder

2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted butter, ghee, or virgin coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon (15 ml) ghee or virgin coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6).

Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Mix the yolks with a fork. Add the cream of tartar and salt to the egg whites. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes until the whites become foamy. Add 3 tablespoons (30 g/1.1 oz) of the erythritol. Keep beating until stiff peaks form.

Fold 3 egg yolks (keep one egg yolk in the bowl) into the mixture using a silicone spatula. Sift in the cacao powder and gently combine with the egg white mixture without deflating them. To the bowl with the reserved egg yolk, add the melted butter, pumpkin pie spice mix, and the remaining 1 tablespoon (10 g/0.4 oz) erythritol.

Spread the pancake batter in a hot 8- to 9-inch (20- to 23-cm) skillet greased with the ghee. Use the rounded side of a teaspoon to draw a spiral-shaped swirl into the pancake, starting in the middle and ending at the edges. Then use the teaspoon to drizzle the prepared pumpkin pie filling into the swirl. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, until the bottom of the pancake starts to brown. Remove from the burner and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream, whipped cream, or coconut cream.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (1/2 PANCAKE):

Total carbs: 5.9 g / Fiber: 2.4 g / Net carbs: 3.6 g / Protein: 13.8 g / Fat: 31.8 g / Calories: 354 kcal

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (4%), protein (16%), fat (80%)

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