Creating ketogenic family meals is a challenge. Especially when the rest of your family does not follow a similar low-carb eating style. Other family members may not be interested in eating this way or you may have children and don’t want them to eat the same way you do. If you are just starting out with the Ketogenic Diet, it’s difficult enough transitioning your own diet let alone trying to wean kids off their breakfast cereal! So how do you create ketogenic family meals that the whole family are happy to eat?
If you are cooking the meals, there are plenty of ways to prepare ketogenic family meals with a low-carb version for yourself, without cooking a separate meal. You don’t need to completely change the meals you cook (unless you normally have pasta every night!). When you are starting to eat low-carb, you need to keep it very simple and don’t be afraid of repetition.
5 Building Blocks For Creating a Ketogenic Family Meal
1. Choose a protein
Steak, chicken, lamb, fish or seafood etc and cook it with oil/butter/garlic/herbs/spices.
2. Add a variety of different sauces
For Carb Eaters : BBQ sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, aioli, teriyaki, soy sauce, gravy, mustard, tartare sauce and salsa.
Making compound butter is another great option for serving with steak, chicken or seafood. Compound butter is simply softened butter mixed with various savory ingredients. There are many other ways to use it – on chargrilled or steamed vegetables or saute shrimp in the butter for amazing flavor. The butter can be frozen in smaller portions for easy additions to meals. Keep for 2-3 months in the freezer.
Compound Butter Recipe: Anchovy Butter – Place 100g softened butter, 4 chopped anchovy fillets, 1 crushed garlic clove and some pepper in a bowl and mix to combine. Place the butter mixture on some plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll it around the butter forming a log. Place in the fridge until needed. Other ingredients to try – herbs, spices, lemon and lime zest and cheese. Serves 4
3. Add Vegetables
(i) Steamed vegetables drizzled with butter or olive oil OR vegetables sautéed in butter
(ii) Salad with olive oil/MCT oil. Olives and cheese are a great addition.
(iii) Raw vegetables. Avocado is the go-to choice as an easy alternative to cooking vegetables. Grab half an avocado, drizzle olive oil on and add some pink himalayan salt. Yum…
4. Carb Side Dish – rice/baked vegetables/bread for carb eaters
If possible, I try to serve meals that don’t require me to serve rice or baked vegetables as it takes up a lot of time. Unless of course your kids like cauliflower rice, which I am assuming they don’t!
Recipes like burgers are great as I can serve mine in a big lettuce leave and the kids can have their burger buns.
Another easy favorite is Low-Carb Taco Burrito Bowls which I can easily add taco shells for the kids without taking much extra effort. I eat mine in a bowl or with low-carb tortillas. Keep some in the freezer so you can easily grab one.
If you have to cook carbs, at least make it efficient!
If I do decide to cook rice or baked vegetables like potato, pumpkin or sweet potato, I always cook up a bigger batch than I need and freeze the extra rice and reheat the vegetables another night. That way I know I’ll have saved time on another night.
Note for women on carbs: you may find that you need to have a small amount of carbs (100g) such as sweet potato, beets or rice every 3-4 days to avoid slowing your metabolism down and preventing hormone deregulation. This is sometimes referred to as a carb up.
5. Repeat meals
Don’t try to cook a huge variety of meals. Find a few that work and repeat for a few weeks until you’re ready to try some new things.
Four Examples Of Real Life Ketogenic Family Meals (that keep everyone happy…)
Keto Meal #1 – Crumbed Fish
Last night we had pan-fried white fish which I crumbed with egg, milk, flour and panko (Japanese style) bread crumbs for the rest of the family. I seasoned my fillet with salt and pepper and cooked it first in the pan with MCT oil and butter. I then kept the fish warm while I pan-fried the crumbed fish.
While the fish was cooking, I steamed some broccoli and served it with butter and salt.
I also made some roast potatoes for the kids and husband and then cut half an avocado for myself to bump up the fat content.
The fish and vegetables was served with a wedge of lemon.
Also – try our recipe for 30 Minute Herb & Parmesan Crusted Fish With Lime Aioli – which the whole family eats!!
Keto Meal #2 – Steak & Grilled Vegetables
On the weekend, we grilled some rib-eye steak and sausages. I made a gremolata (parsley, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil mixed together) to serve with the steaks for the adults and the kids had ketchup with the sausages (in bread rolls) and the steak on its own. This was accompanied by grilled vegetables – zucchini, asparagus and peppers which I then tossed through some lettuce, added some black olives, goats cheese and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
The rib-eye steak would also be perfect with cauliflower mash.
Keto Meal #3 – 30 Minute Low-Carb Burgers With Chipotle Mayo
Keto Meal #4 – 30 Minute Low-Carb Taco Burrito Bowl
Let us know in the comments below what tips you have for making family friendly keto meals… We are always looking for new ideas to help preserve the peace around the dinner table!!