Saturday, November 2, 2013

Keto Cooking

 Weekends around here have taken on a new look since Owen started the Ketogenic Diet. The only way we've been able to accomplish anything other than cooking during the week is to have marathon cooking sessions on the weekends. I've long been a fan of freezer cooking, but the ketogenic diet brings it to a whole new level. Today I'm going to show you how we make Owen's Spinach Bites. Spinach bites are one of our favorite meals. Owen likes them because they taste good and he gets a whole bunch of them. I like them because he gets 52 grams of a dark green veggie. He doesn't get many vegetables due to the intense carbohydrate restrictions of the diet, so I really love getting them into him. First we have to adjust the recipe from the one given to meet Owen's specific calorie and ratio requirements. I'm planning a post soon about how we adjust his recipes.
 So, once I have the recipe adjusted for Owen, I weigh out the spinach. I use fresh spinach which must be weighed out uncooked. Then I add just a bit of water, put saran wrap over the bowl and steam it in the microwave for a minute or so. While the spinach is steaming, I grate the Parmesan cheese and weight it out (I'm making 3 portions here since that is how much spinach is in a bag).
  Meanwhile I separate a couple of eggs and beat the whites a little so they're not so globby.  Then I take the spinach out of the microwave and chop it up. I actually use kitchen shears so I don't have to wait for it to cool. That way I can add the butter without melting it first and save myself a lot of scraping.
 Okay, Now that I have all the components ready, I put the bowl of spinach (did I remember to say that I have to squeeze the water out of the spinach?) on the scale and zero it out. Then I add the butter while the spinach is still hot and let the butter melt. Next, zero out the scale again and add the egg whites. I use a syringe since it is really hard to measure out egg whites to the nearest 10th of a gram.
 Zero out the scale again and add the oil. If I go over on any of the measurements by more than 2/10 of a gram the whole meal is ruined! I use a condiment bottle for oil, whole beaten egg, and cream, so I can add them drop by drop.
 Then, zero out the scale again and spoon in the almond meal.
At this point I'm done with the scale. Owen gets 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of potassium salt a day as a source of potassium. I add some of that to the spinach bites. I don't have to weigh this! We also add a pinch of garlic powder. Anything more than a pinch would have to be calculated in.
 You can just barely see the dusting of garlic in the above picture. Then I add the previously weighed cheese and mix everything up.
 This is how well I have to scrape out the bowls.  A tenth of a gram makes a difference on the diet and that isn't a very large amount.
 We mix each portion in separate bowls. In order to make one big batch I would have to be able to be sure that each portion had exactly the same proportions of each item. There are some things I could do that with like muffins, but spinach bites aren't one of those. The oil tends to leak out of these while they cook, so I cook them in silicone molds. This way Owen can also choose what shape he wants, which makes him happy.
 I didn't manage to take a picture of these in the muffin liners, but I divide each batch into 12 of these mini molds. That makes then just the right size to be one bite each. Then I bake them for about half an hour until the edges just start to turn brown. The whole  process minus cooking time is about an hour for one batch or 1 hour and 15 minutes for multiple batches. I still haven't figured out how or why, but that extra 15 minutes holds true whether I'm making 2 batches or 6 batches.
 I also failed to get pictures of the finished product! We store the ones he isn't eating right away in plastic containers in the fridge or freezer. They only take about 20 seconds in the microwave to reheat if they are refrigerated and double that if they are frozen.
 Then, I start the next item on the menu. We usually end up making  7-8 yogurts, 7 cheese sandwiches, 12-14 pancakes, and three or four other recipes each week. I always try to make at least one all-in-one meal that I can take with us in the car easily like muffins or breakfast cookies. For the other meals we ask Owen what he wants each week. Pizza, chicken nuggets, meatball cups, spinach bites, and corn dogs are his current favorites.


  1. You have all my sympathy and may my Lord Adonai Elohim give you extra blessings with every meal you prepare. My mother-in-law, who is living with us, can not eat anything that makes gas. Some dockter once told her she may not eat normal bread, only raybread and she may not eat white rice only brown. Lucky for me he said nothing about pasta. Our home's name is "Mossie-nes" translated it is "sparrow's nest". We provide meals for between 5 up and most days it is for 9 people. I find it really hard to make that extra special meal. I love your Brenna child's smile. Be strong and we believe that your Owen child will be healed soon.

  2. Thank you so much for the kind words. I always say I wouldn't have any trouble with preparing Owen's meals if everyone else would just stop eating. I love Brenna's smile too, it's infectious!

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