Well, that’s it. I’ve decided that Keto and I are officially through. Well, at least for the time being.
For a few days after my 3 month experiment was formally over, I considered stretching it by another month, but then I changed my mind.
Not that I was feeling bad or anything. Only, I was fed up. I was starting to get major cravings for meatballs in tomato sauce and carrot salad and roasted bell peppers, and baked sweet potatoes. All good stuff, really, so I felt there was no good reason to deny my body of its right to appease those cravings.
Besides, it’s no secret that I felt like the keto diet wasn’t doing much of anything for me. In 3 full months of strictly adhering to the “rules” and remaining in a constant state of ketosis, I can’t say that I really lost weight, or that I felt better physically or mentally, that I got any stronger, had more energy or even felt more intelligent.
I can’t say that I truly hated it, though. In fact, keto food can be pretty tasty! Like this Ground Beef and Spinach Skillet for instance. I came up with this dish one evening that I was feeling particularly uninspired. All I did was throw a little bit of this and a little bit of that in a skillet. The resulting meal was so outstandingly tasty and so deeply satisfying, I just HAD to recreate it the very next morning. No way I was going to let that one fall into oblivion…
Quite frankly, I think I’ll be enjoying this one on a regular basis, whether I’m on keto or not.
Because hey, there are no rules against eating keto meals even when you’re not technically ON the diet.
For this recipe, I chose to use King Oyster Mushrooms.
Of course, you don’t HAVE to use the same variety; plain old button would do the trick just fine. But if you’re not familiar with King Oyster, I say you should really try and get your hands on some. They can be found quite commonly in most Asian food markets and they are extremely affordable for an “exotic” mushroom. Honestly, I think they have the coolest texture: they’re like extremely firm yet kind of chewy at the same time. Their flavor is very delicate and subtle, a tad woodsy and earthy, much like the standard oyster variety.
They can be consumed raw or cooked and are a breeze to prep. Simply wipe them clean, remove the base and cut them into chunks of the desired size.
To make our skillet, we want to cut them into smallish bite-sized chunks.
Once your mushrooms have been cleaned and chopped, melt some coconut oil or ghee in a heavy skillet (cast iron preferred) set over medium-high heat. When the fat is nice and hot, add the chopped mushroom and cook them until golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
Add some chopped almonds and continue cooking for about a minute, until they too become nicely golden and highly fragrant.
Throw in your ground beef, salt, white pepper and chili pepper flakes and cook until the meat is completely browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.
Add your kalamata olives (yes, my olives really were that purple!), capers and almond butter and give that a good stir, until well combined.
Finally, toss the chopped spinach right in…
Stir delicately until it’s completely wilted and well distributed, which shouldn’t take much more than one or two minutes.
Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately
Garnish with crispy lardons for bonus keto points, as well as added crunch and flavor!
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee (or make your own)
- 1 king oyster mushroom, chopped
- 2 tbsp raw almonds, chopped
- 150g grassfed ground beef
- ½ tsp chili pepper flakes
- pinch Himalayan salt
- Pinch ground white pepper
- ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp all natural roasted almond butter (or make your own)
- 150g baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- Melt the coconut or ghee in a heavy skillet (cast iron preferred) set over medium-high heat. When the fat is nice and hot, add the chopped mushroom and cook until golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chopped almonds and continue cooking for about a minute, then throw in ground beef, salt, white pepper and chili pepper flakes and cook until the meat is completely browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add olives, capers and almond butter and stir until well combined. Finally, toss the chopped spinach right in and stir delicately until it’s completely wilted and well distributed.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.
- Garnish with crispy lardons for bonus keto points!