Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Keto Shake And Bake

We eat a lot of chicken in our home, and one of my favorite recipes is chicken deep fat fried in lard without any coating and then lightly brushed with butter and seasoned with salt and pepper (For more information on this recipe, check out Butter Bob's video on Fried Chicken). But it takes a fair amount of time to setup and clean up. One of our favorite alternative recipes is oven baked “fried” chicken using my homemade version 'Shake And Bake' made with ground pork rinds in place of the wheat flour products.

This recipe makes a delicious oven fried chicken that is better than the original Kraft recipes both nutritionally and in it's flavor profile. This low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) and Ketogenic (Keto) recipe will really amaze you at how well a low carbohydrate seasoned coating can taste. The best part about this recipe is that it is easy to make and it tastes fantastic. In this article, I will be teaching you how to make your own Keto style Shake and Bake that both you and your family will love.

The Recipe

This homemade LCHF / Keto Shake and Bake recipe does include a small amount of cornstarch which adds a total of 4.6 carbohydrates to the overall recipe, but the end result is that each piece of chicken only contains about 1 carbohydrate per piece. Personally I believe that the minimal amount of cornstarch used it an integral part of the coating mix.

1 ¾ cups processed pork rinds (one 5 ounce bag)
2 tablespoon dried parsley
4 teaspoons chicken bouillon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt

Mix all dry ingredients together and store in an airtight container. When ready to use, add 1 cup Keto shake and bake to a medium sized bowl or zip lock bag or container and add the poultry a few pieces at a time and mix until evenly coated. 1 cup will coat about 8 - 10 chicken thighs.

For Chicken – Place on foil lined baking sheet sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until done, larger thighs or pieces of chicken may take an additional 10 – 15 minutes. Do not cover chicken.

For Pork - Place on foil lined baking sheet sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray and bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 15 to 30 minutes or until done. Do not cover or turn pork chops.

Keto Shake and Bake (Total Recipe: 1 ¾ cups)
Calories – 914, protein 2 grams, fat 50.6 grams, carbohydrates 14.4 grams

Keto Shake and Bake Per Cup
Calories – 522, protein 1.14 grams, 28.9 grams, carbohydrates 8.22 grams

Kraft Shake And Bake Total Recipe (2 pouches)
Calories – 480, protein 0 grams, fat 4 grams, carbohydrates 80 grams

Per Pouch (Coats 6 to 8 pieces of chicken or pork chops)
Calories – 240, protein 0 grams, 2 grams, carbohydrates 40 grams

For nutritional information, one pouch of the original Shake and Bake coats 6 to 8 pieces of chicken per the package instructions. While 1 cup of the Keto Shake and Bake easily coats the same amount of chicken as you can see in the pictures accompanying this article. The big difference here is the caloric and fat intake are quite a bit higher (55% more calories, and 94% more fat) in the Keto Shake and Bake mix while the carbohydrate count is significantly reduced (64% less carbs in Keto Shake and Bake) as opposed to the original Kraft Shake and Bake.

To put this into perspective, if you bake eight pieces of chicken using both the original Kraft recipe versus the Keto shake and bake, you really begin to see the difference when you specifically look at the carbohydrate count. The Kraft original Shake and Bake adds approximately 5 carbohydrates per piece of chicken, while the Keto Shake and Bake only adds 1 carbohydrate per piece of chicken, that's 80% less carbohydrates overall. As for fats, the Keto Shake and Bake adds about 3.6 grams of fat per piece of chicken (28.9 grams / 8 pieces = 3.61 grams per piece), so fat wise, it fits in just fine with our LCHF / Keto diet plan.

The Ingredients

The big advantage to making your own is that you can make this old family favorite LCHF and Keto friendly by substituting ground pork rinds in place of the bread products (carbohydrates). By removing the unwanted carbohydrates (flour, breadcrumbs, and sugar) this seasoned coating is virtually carbohydrate free, and it tastes great. You can go one step further and eliminate the powdered chicken bouillon in this recipe if you are wanted to eliminate the MSG, but personally I like the recipe as it is. Feel free however to modify it to suit your personal tastes.

Shake and Bake Original Chicken Seasoned Coating Mix – Enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [Vitamin B1], riboflavin [Vitamin B2], folic acid), enriched bleached wheat flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [Vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid), maltodextrin, salt, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, canola oil, paprika, contains less than 2% of celery seed, spice, high fructose corn syrup, dried garlic, yeast, dried onions, natural flavors.

Keto Shake & Bake – Pork rinds (ground), salt, sugar, cornstarch, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, and powdered chicken bouillon*.

*Chicken bouillon contains quite a few additives including monosodium glutamate (MSG). For further reading on the ingredients of powdered bouillons, see my previous article: 'Restaurants Use Them, So Should You?'


Making your own Keto style Shake and Bake gives you another tool in your arsenal to cook delicious LCHF and Keto meals. You can use this recipe to coat both chicken and pork to add a delicious and crunchy coating that is far easier and less messy than frying. By using ground pork rinds in place of the wheat products it reduces the overall carbohydrate count by 80%, or about 1 gram of carbohydrates per piece of chicken. The great thing about using ground pork rinds is that they are neutral in flavor and when baked, the pork rind coating tastes just like a flour style coating. In fact, I served it to some non-keto friends and when I told them afterwards that the coating was made of ground pork rinds they were amazed.

While I have not made it personally as my wife is not a big fan of hot and spicy. If you want a spicy style coating then try using hot pork rinds. I would advise that you stay away from the barbecue flavor as the have about 3 carbohydrates per serving (added sugar) or about 30 carbohydrate for a 5 ounce bag! I hope you will try this recipe and that you will find it a great alternative to commercially prepared Kraft Shake and Bake. As always, I hope that you have found this article informative and beneficial for you and your family, if so please take the time to share it with your friends so that they can benefit as well. Don't forget to follow our blog, or check us out on our Facebook page 'CulinaryYouLCHF' or add us to your circle on 'Google+' to continue to receive our latest LCHF and Keto recipes.

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Butter Bob's Fried Chicken Video

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pho, A Delicious LCHF / Keto Soup

If you are into Asian style cuisines, then you really need to try the Vietnamese noodle dish called Pho. Now I live in East Texas, so there are quite a few different ways to pronounce the name of this dish, but phonetically it is pronounced as 'faa' or 'fha', not 'fhoo' or 'phoo', but however you wish to pronounce it, the bottom line is that it is delicious and very LCHF and Keto friendly.

If you have been eating LCHF or Keto for sometime, then hopefully you have some delicious bone broth sitting on your pantry shelves (we can ours) or in your freezer. A good bone broth not only makes this dish delicious, but nutritious as it is packed with fat, and sodium, magnesium, and potassium that your body needs to function properly. If you do not have any bone broth on hand, no worries, you can use stock or even water with bouillon, but it is just not quite the same. In this article, I will be showing you how we make Pho in our Instapot pressure cooker, but it can be made in any pressure cooker, or you can make it on the stovetop or even overnight in your slow cooker if you wish.

The Broth

Because I am using a pressure cooker to cook our broth, I do not take the time to toast the spices as they will release their flavors and essential oils under pressure. If you do not have a pressure cooker and make the Pho on the stovetop or in your slow cooker, then you can lightly toast the whole spices in a heavy skillet for just a few minutes until they become fragrant. Be careful, once you begin to smell their aroma, then remove then spices from the skillet as they can burn rather quickly. Set them aside and allow them to cool.

8 cups water, stock, or bone broth
3 whole star anise
3 whole cloves
3 green cardamom pods
1 ½-inch piece cinnamon stick
½-inch piece dried ginger
½ large yellow onion, sliced into chunks
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Combine all the whole spices in a piece of cheesecloth, tie it up, and set it aside. In this recipe I use dried ginger, because I have a lot of it. However, if you have fresh ginger then use about a 1-inch piece peeled and sliced, or you can substitute 1 tablespoon of ginger paste for the dried ginger.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to your instapot and saute the onion until lightly brown, then add 6 cups of water, stock or bone broth along with the spice sachet to the pressure cooker. If using water, then add 5 teaspoons powdered chicken bouillon and 1 teaspoon beef bouillon.

Set your pressure cooker to cook on high for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, release the pressure and open the pressure cooker. Remove the onion, ginger and spice sachet and discard.

Chef's Note: I like to cook the broth in my pressure cooker for 60 minutes to allow all of the flavors and essential oils to escape the whole spices so that they infuse the broth with all their goodness. This allows me to skip the toasting of whole spices. You could of course just boil the spices in your broth on the stovetop or cook it overnight in a slow cooker.

Check the seasoning of the Pho broth and adjust as necessary before serving. If you are not ready to serve, place the pressure cooker in warm mode. When you are ready to serve the Pho, hit the saute button on your Instapot and bring the Pho to a simmer.

Chef's Note: Because we are eating keto, I strain the chunks of onion as as they are used here primarily as a flavor enhancer. We like to add vegetables at the table that will count for our carbohydrates. However if you want to leave the onions in your both, you might want to slice them into thin slices rather than large chunks.

Your Choices of Meat

You have a couple of choices here. If you want to use beef, the most common cut is eye of round cut very thinly and added to the bowl raw just before the simmering broth is added, but any beef will do. If you go this route it is important that the broth be hot enough to cook the beef. To make it easy to cut the beef into thin slices you can place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes to allow it stiffen somewhat before slicing.

We like to use chicken in our Pho. You can use and type of poultry (chicken, turkey, or duck) you desire, you need to make sure it is thoroughly cooked before adding it to your Pho. Sliced, chunked or diced, it doesn't matter, they choice is up to you. We can a lot of chicken as we raise free range chickens here on the homestead so we have pre-cooked chicken in pint and quart jars in abundance. Btw, rabbit is quite delicious in Pho as well although it is not a typical meat seen in Pho.

Seafood is another option, shrimp, crawfish and small cuts of fish fillets can add a nice flavor and texture to any Pho broth. Like poultry, just make sure that your seafood is pre-cooked to ensure that it is safe for you and your family. This is an especially good way to serve leftover fish that can sometimes get dry when reheated. Personally, I think leftover Salmon makes for a good bowl of Pho.

The last meat option that I am just going to mention is slightly different and that is sliced deli meats. I know this sounds kinda of weird, but I have had Pho made with thinly sliced roast beef and ham from the deli and it was surprisingly good. Not what you would call a traditional Pho meat selection, but do not knock it till you try it.

So there you have it. Any type of leftover meat (beef, pork, poultry) and seafood can be added to your Pho or your can omit the meat altogether and go vegetarian, the choice is up to you. That's the great thing about Pho it is blank canvas that allows you to be your own Picasso.

Assemble the Pho Bowls Ingredients:

One of the great things about Pho is that is an individual dish. That is each person can put any vegetables, condiments or whatever they want in their bowl at the table and then cover it with hot broth to make their own unique meal. While Pho is a traditional Vietnamese dish, here in the states, many of the condiments used seem to be of Thai origin, but as the United States is a melting pot of cultures, this only seems appropriate to me.

We generally keep our Pho pretty simple. For this article I made it with shredded cooked chicken, thinly sliced cabbage as a substitute for the rice noodles (you could of course use zoodles as well), mung bean sprouts, and my homemade green sriracha hot sauce. Place the simmering Pho broth on the table or leave on the counter with all the condiments in separate bowls so that each person can add the ingredients they want to their serving bowl before ladling in the hot soup. To learn how to make your own sriracha hot sauce check out my article 'LCHF SrirachaSauce' on our blog.

Chef's Note: it is important for the broth to be served simmering as it will help to cook any raw vegetables or meat that may be added to the bowl. For the Instapot, I place it on sauté mode until the broth begins to boil. This is especially important if you are using thinly sliced pieces of beef.

Some common Pho condiments include:

Limes, sliced or cut into wedges
Jalapeño or Fresno peppers, sliced
Fresh Thai basil, cilantro, and mint
Mung bean sprouts
Sriracha style hot sauce
Thai garlic chile sauce
Korean red pepper paste

Nutritional Information

Because Pho is so individual, it is difficult to create any valid nutritional information for the dish as a whole. I have included the nutritional information for the broth as made per the recipe in this article, but you will have to account for any vegetables or meat that you add to the broth yourself. This is not my preference as I like to list all the nutritional information for the recipes that I post on the blog, but when it comes to Pho, you are on your own.

Broth Total Recipe (8 cups, or 5– 12 ounce servings)
Calories – 277, protein 2.72 grams, fat 27.2 grams, carbohydrates 7.44 grams

Broth (12 ounce serving)
Calories – 55, protein 0.54 grams fat 5.44 grams, carbohydrates 1.48 grams

The actual protein, fat, and carbohydrate values for the Pho broth is probably lower than what I have listed, as many of the spice values are for ground spices and I use whole spices in this recipe which are then removed before serving. In addition, the nutritional values include the use of powdered broth in place of ready made or home made bone broth as most people have this in their pantry and may want to go this route. Needless to say, if you use homemade bone broth, you will have a much better nutritious and delicious Pho broth.


Quick, simple and easy soup, Pho actually gets it's name from the rice noodles used in the dish which are called 'banh pho' in Vietnamese. I guess since we are not eating the noodles are we really eating a faux Pho? Sorry I just couldn't help the bad pun there. One of the great things about Pho is that the broth is essentially meat free, so we often use our pressure canner to can any leftover broth making it shelf stable to sit on our shelf in the pantry until the next time we want a hot bowl of Pho.

The infusion of flavors in this broth is quite amazing and I am sure your family will love this Pho as much as mine does. If you want to learn how to can your own broth, check out the related articles on our blog about canning meats, stocks, and vegetables. As always, I hope that you have found this article informative and beneficial for you and your family, if so please take the time to share it with your friends so that they can benefit as well. Don't forget to follow our blog, or check us out on our Facebook page 'CulinaryYouLCHF' or add us to your circle on 'Google+' to continue to receive our latest LCHF and Keto recipes.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Crust-less Deep Dish Pizza

I am without a doubt a pizza guy. In fact, I am not to particular, I like just about every kind of pizza, but one of my favorites is Chicago style deep dish pizza. Being on a Ketogenic (Keto) diet does present some challenges when it comes to making a good pie. There are some good cauliflower, and fat head pizza dough recipes and I have made both, but my favorite is a meat crust pizza that I was inspired to make after reading a blog post from one of Chicago's legendary pizzeria's 'Lou Malnati's'. The article mentioned a new offering of a 'crust-less' pizza for gluten intolerant customers.

In this case the crust was made by a layer of their “lean sausage as the base, then topped with out fresh mozzarellas cheese and zesty tomato sauce.” So I thought, this could be the perfect low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) Keto pizza. Now I do not know what they mean by the term “lean” sausage, but I decided to make the base of my crust-less pizza with a mild Italian sausage and build of from there. The final outcome I believe is my favorite keto style pizza yet. Having said that, it is pretty high in fat, so it is not something you want to eat everyday.

The Recipe

As pizzas go, this recipe is pretty simple if you are using store bought Italian sausage, just keep in mind that commercially prepared sausage may have some carbohydrates from sugar, especially if you are using a sweet mild sausage. Generally you can find Italian sausage in most supermarkets in both bulk 1lb packages or as links. If all your supermarket carries is the links, then simply split the casings and add the sausage to your deep dish pan as if it was bulk processed.

16 ounces Italian sausage, mild or hot
12 slices provolone cheese
2 (1.75 ounces) packages of pepperoni
1 ½ cups mozzarella, shredded
½ cup pizza sauce (see below)

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

Take your 12-inch deep dish pizza pan and with your hands, press and spread the Italian sausage across the bottom of the pan until you have an even layer of sausage which will be the basis of your crust.

Next, add the pizza sauce and spread evenly over the sausage layer.

Then add the sliced provolone cheese.

Add the pepperoni or other desired toppings.

Add the final cheese layer and place in your pre-heated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Crust-less Pizza (Total 8 slices)
Calories – 2437, protein 138 grams, fat 198 grams, carbohydrates 20.2 grams

Crust-less Pizza Per Slice
Calories – 305, protein 17.25 grams, fat 24.75 grams, carbohydrates 2.52 grams

Pizza Hut Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza (Total 8 slices)
Calories – 2960, protein 120 grams, fat 152 grams, carbohydrates 296 grams

Pizza Hut Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza Per Slice
Calories – 370, protein 15 grams, fat 19 grams, carbohydrates 37 grams

The Sauce

A pizza is only as good as it's sauce. Typically, Malnati's uses crushed tomatoes seasoned with Italian seasoning and spices in place of a traditional tomato sauce. If you choose to go this route, an easy option would be to purchase a can of small petite tomatoes diced with basil, garlic and oregano and simply crush the tomatoes by hand and place as many as you want on top of the sausage layer, or with your additional ingredients before you add the mozzarella. If your prefer a more traditional pizza sauce and you do not have any pasta or pizza sauce on hand, I have included a quick Keto recipe you can whip together.

8 ounces tomato sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon fennel seed, ground (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a plastic container and reserve until ready to use.

Pizza Sauce (1 cup)
Calories – 105.5, protein 1.4 grams, fat 0.05 grams, carbohydrates 16.55 grams

The Sausage Patty

When purchasing Johnsonville Italian sausage for your pizza keep in mind a few things. Mild sweet Italian, and the Hot variety of sausage have sugar added so it is about 3 carbohydrates per link (15 carbs per a 5 link package of 19 ounces), while the bulk varieties of mild Italian and Hot sausage are listed as having 6 carbohydrates per pound. In addition, according to the package, the individual links contain more sugar 2 grams per serving versus 1 gram per serving for the same sausage in bulk form, go figure.

So if you really want to cut down on the carbohydrates by eliminating the sugar you can make your own mild Italian sausage. Guess what it is really quick and easy to do, and you get total control of what goes into the meat. If you are going to use ground beef in place of the sausage, you may want to use a leaner beef as the pepperoni, and cheeses are already high in fat and using 73/27 ground beef generally makes the pie pretty greasy, still tastes great but I did blot off some of the oil before we ate it when I used the fattier ground beef.

1 pound ground pork, beef, or combination
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
¾ teaspoon paprika
¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon fennel seed, ground
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until throughly combined and all the spices are evenly distributed throughout the sausage.

Ground Beef Sausage Patty (16 ounces 73/27)
Calories – 1314, protein 73 grams, fat 112 grams, carbohydrates 5.45 grams

Nutritional Information

The nutritional information for this recipe will vary considerably depending on the ingredients that you choose to use and whether you decide to make your own sausage or use a commercially prepared Italian sausage such as Johnsonville. Personally, I make this pizza with a homemade sausage patty made from ground beef using the spices listed in the recipe. I am listing some of the nutritional values of the items I used so that if you tweak this recipe to suit your needs you can get a general idea of the total nutritional value of the pizza.

Ground Beef Sausage (16 ounces 73/27)
Calories – 1314, protein 73 grams, fat 112 grams, carbohydrates 5.45 grams

Ground Beef Sausage (16 ounces 80/20)
Calories – 1186, protein 79 grams, fat 91 grams, carbohydrates 5.45 grams

Ground Beef Sausage (16 ounces 93/7)
Calories – 713, protein 93 grams, fat 32 grams, carbohydrates 5.45 grams

Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage (16 ounces)
Calories – 1020 , protein 60 grams, fat 78 grams, carbohydrates 6 grams

Hormel Pepperoni (1.75oz package)
Calories – 280, protein 10 grams, fat 26 grams, carbohydrates 0 grams

Provolone Cheese (Per 19 gram slice)
Calories – 70, protein 5 grams, fat 5 grams, carbohydrates 0 grams

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (Per Cup)
Calories – 336, protein 25 grams, fat 25 grams, carbohydrates 2 grams


Making your own deep dish crust-less pizza is pretty simple and quick to do, and the end result is quite delicious. The pie that I made for this article contained a sausage patty made from 73/27 ground beef and that is what was used to determine the nutritional information for this article. You can increase or decrease the fat and protein content by changing your choice of meat to be used for the 'meat crust' layer. When compared to a traditional Pizza Hut deep dish pepperoni pizza of the same size, the caloric, fat, and protein contents are very similar. However the Pizza Hut deep dish pizza contains 296 grams of carbohydrates for the whole pie, or 37 grams per slice. Our homemade Malnati's style crust-less pizza contains only 20.2 carbohydrates for the entire pie, and a measly 2.52 grams of carbohydrates per slice. That's 88% less carbohydrates just in case you were wondering.

So how does this recipe stack up against other keto pizza recipes? I am not sure and maybe that is another article waiting to be written, but if you have a craving for deep dish style pizza, this recipe is hard to beat. Still with it's 305 calories and 24 grams of fat per slice, it is not something that you can eat everyday and still lose weight, but if you get the craving for a great deep dish pizza, this recipe definitley satisfies. As always, I hope that you have found this article informative and beneficial for you and your family, if so please take the time to share it with your friends so that they can benefit as well. Don't forget to follow our blog, or check us out on our Facebook page 'CulinaryYouLCHF' or add us to your circle on 'Google+' to continue to receive our latest LCHF and Keto recipes.