Sunday, November 3, 2013

Recipe Re-work

 I've talked about re-working recipes several times (including HERE) . I thought it was time to do a post about how I do that. First of all I have to sing the praises of the most wonderful computer program in the world, Ketocalculator. This is a free program that already has all the required carb, protein, and calorie information for hundreds of keto approved products. I don't know how I would manage if I had to do all that work on my own! You do need to have dietician approval to use the program since the ketogenic diet can be dangerous if not done under close medical supervision. If you are on the ketogenic diet and are not already set up with a password, ask your keto team to get you into the system.

 When I see a recipe that looks like something Owen might like, I can't just use it the way it's written. I have to adjust it for Owen's unique calorie and ratio requirements. Today, I'll show you how I made the Spinach Bites recipe work for Owen. First, I log into Ketocalculator.  Then I click on create/display meals.  Next I click on Add Meal From Scratch or if I'm changing a current meal I click on the meal name.
 If I'm making a new meal I will title it, if I'm not sure if it will work I just title it TEST. The next step is to click Add Foods. All of the foods in the ketocalculator are categorized by fat, protein, cream or carbohydrate (there is also a misc category for things like baking soda and salt which don't change ratio and calorie counts). I start by just entering all of the ingredients listed in the original recipe. If I know I want to change something like using swiss chard insted of spinach I enter both foods during this step. The only changes I make to the original recipe right now are to change out brands if I don't have the called for ones available. For the Spinach Bites I use fresh spinach, for example, since our little local store doesn't carry frozen spinach regularly.  Once I've chosen the items I want to use, I enter the amounts as listed in the original recipe.
The original Spinach Bites recipe is 285 calories at a 3.5:1 ratio.

  • 52g frozen spinach, cooked, weigh it, then drain the water out, chop it small.
  • 15g egg whites
  • 13g butter, melted
  • 13g olive oil
  • 6g almond flour
  • 4g parmesan cheese, hard block grated
  • salt/pepper/pinch of garlic powder

Owen needs 265 calories at a 3:1 ratio. So, I start adjusting quantities trying to keep similar ratios of the ingredients until I get to Owen's numbers. The Ketocalculator automatically changes the ratio and calories counts for me as I adjust the quantities of the ingredients. Most Keto food ends up extremely oily, so to reduce calories and ratio like I need to do for this recipe I start by reducing the oil and butter. Owen's final recipe looks like this:

  52 g raw spinach (weigh raw, then steam, drain, and chop)
  16g egg whites
  12g butter
  11g olive oil
  7g almond flour
  5g parmesan cheese
  salt/ pinch of garlic powder

 This gives him 268 calories (265 +/- 4) and a 3.02:1 ratio (at or slightly above 3:1)
Then I always make a sample of the recipe to see if it works. Sometimes changing the quantities around makes something too runny or crumbly to actually eat. If everything works out, I forward the recipe to our dietician and have her double check and approve it. Once it has dietician approval I can print the recipe and officially work it into Owen's menu. When we changed ratio from 2:1 to 3:1, I had to do this with all of Owen's recipes. Sometimes it just doesn't work and I have to scrap the whole recipe. Other times I can change an ingredient and make it work. Owen had a 2:1 cereal recipe that had almonds and pecans. When we switched to 3:1, I made the recipe work by substituting macadamia nuts for the almonds.
  It is very important to NOT just use a recipe as listed unless you are lucky enough to find one that already matches your exact calorie and ratio needs. I've had that happen exactly once! It is also important to have your recipes approved by a dietician. I don't usually put actual recipes on the blog for that reason.

 For anyone NOT on the ketogenic diet, I should add that these are really good. With a little less oil I think anyone would enjoy these. I plan to make some for the rest of us as soon as I remember to buy the big container of spinach at Costco!

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