It’s summertime now, and I just want to be outside, taking spur of the moment bike rides to the park and staying out past the kids’ bedtimes to play at the Children’s museum. I don’t want to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen. And I thought maybe you’re feeling the same way, so I put together a list of the kinds of low carb meals we eat when I don’t want to cook.
I generally enjoy cooking, and I love to see what sorts of things I do while maintaining my ketogenic diet. But sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) I just need simplicity in my life. And I know for a fact there are some of you out there (*cough*mom*cough*) who hate to cook all the time. So whether you’re like me and enjoy cooking but need a break sometime, or you avoid ever setting foot in the kitchen, this post is for you.
Keto Dinners For When You Don’t Want To Cook
Hard or Soft Boiled Eggs
Hard and soft boiled eggs are incredibly versatile and are super easy to make. I boil up a dozen hard boiled eggs weekly for quick-grab breakfasts, but they also make a great addition to dinners. In the photo above, I added a couple hardboiled eggs to a bed of baby lettuces, avocado, tomato, and some pre-made grilled chicken strips. I love having grilled chicken strips on hand, but make sure you read the ingredients and nutrition label! Some of them have a lot of potato starch.
Soft boiled eggs can also be added to salads, but I love them on a bed of quickly sautéed mushrooms and asparagus. Put them on top of your favorite vegetables for a quick meal!
Here’s my favorite method for cooking hard and soft boiled eggs.
Ok, ok. I know there are some of you out there who groan at the thought of having a salad for dinner. But salads don’t have to be sad! Adding loads of delicious high fat and high protein ingredients make salads amazing dinners and you don’t have to turn on your oven at all! Above is a strawberry chicken salad using the pre-grilled chicken strips again, sliced strawberries, spinach, pecans, diced cheese, and a simple vinaigrette.
I just found out that Amazon has a line of grocery items called Wickedly Prime and that they have several super low carb dressing options like this rosemary balsamic viniagrette! They’re only available via their Prime Pantry program, but I’ve used it several times to save a ton of money on grocery staples, including keto staples like coconut oil, hemp seeds, and golden flaxseed meal.
And not all salads have to be lettuce-based!
Check out this amazing Roasted Pepper and Zucchini Salad by Have Butter Will Travel. I would totally eat that for dinner any day of the week. Add a little chicken if you want more protein without having to cook something else.
Breakfast For Dinner
Ok, so breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite things year-round. Primarily because breakfast foods are my favorite foods, but also because they generally require little-to-no prior planning. I don’t have to remember to take stuff out of the freezer and I can whip it up quick.
This is our favorite keto pancake and waffle recipe. I double the recipe for our family and add my secret ingredient– 2 Tbsp. oat fiber to make them extra fluffy.
And when we’re feeling really short on time and creativity, scrambled eggs for dinner! There’s not much easier than that and they’re a great source of protein, fats, and they contain all nine essential amino acids. I always prefer my scrambled eggs soft and cheesy.
Lately my family has been obsessed with tuna. I love that I can keep some cans in the pantry for the quickest of meals, and I love that I can guarantee cheers from the kids when I tell them what’s for dinner. Add mayo, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste for an easy tuna salad you can put on a bed of lettuce or use your favorite keto bread to make a tuna melt with some nice sharp cheddar.
The spicy tuna stack above is from The 30-Day Ketogenic Cleanse cookbook by Maria Emmerich. The cookbook is full of delicious recipes. The marinated mushrooms are my favorite!
There are several places out there where you can find keto restaurant guides to help you navigate fast food joints, but my hands-down favorite thing to grab when we’re out and need to grab food to eat at home quickly is a rotisserie chicken.
First off, rotisserie chicken is delicious. My kids love it. And it will feed our whole family plus some leftovers for less than $8. We grab one at the grocery store and cook up some frozen broccoli when we get home and we have a perfect keto dinner in almost no time.
The other night I just could not bring myself to cook anything, so I put together this super simple antipasto platter with sliced Dubliner cheese, goat cheese, salami, ham, pickles, olives, and mixed nuts.
I wasn’t sure how it would go over, but my kids have not stopped asking to have it again, so I’m counting it a win.
Remember that Chicken Adobo recipe I shared last week? Well, you can use almost the same recipe to make shredded chicken in the instant pot with frozen chicken! Just take the same bag of frozen chicken thighs or breasts, add 1 cup of chicken broth and a little garlic, onion, salt & pepper. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes (let naturally depressurize 10 mins, then vent) and then remove the chicken from the pot and shred. (See the adobo recipe for more detailed cooking info.)
Once you have shredded chicken, you can do all kinds of things with it. Make some chicken salad to eat with your favorite low carb crackers. Mix it with taco seasoning to make some quick tacos with low-carb taco shells. Or do what we did above: Mix with sugar free barbecue sauce and serve on top of some slaw and your favorite keto bread for some barbecued pulled chicken. (My homemade keto barbecue sauce coming soon!)
I hope this post gave you some great ideas for those days you just can’t handle cooking. Maybe for you that’s every day! You don’t have to be a professional in the kitchen to eat a keto diet, and you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen just to eat well! I hope this post proved that!
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