Keto Dutch Baby (Oven Pancake)

Dutch pancakes or “dutch babies” are oven-baked pancakes, easier to make than on-the-griddle; they’re delicate and a bit puffy. In the Netherlands, pancake restaurants serve both sweet and SAVORY varieties–filled with chicken curry or bacon and gruyere or ham and gouda–so many varieties! Here we’re going to make the plain, sweet version with lemon blueberry maple syrup.

Keto Dutch Baby

This recipe is from a WONDERFUL Keto cookbook called Southern Keto by Natasha Newton. It create a light, fluffy pancake that would be totally at home in Amsterdam. I balked at the idea of four eggs, but I learned not to dink with this recipe–it’s perfect as it is and yields a large, light fluffy confection that makes for a filling brunch! Your only problem will be people wanting YOUR pancake.

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated erythritol
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Whisk the eggs, adding in the water and the cream.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, erythritol (or other sweetner. I used granulated Allopure) and coconut flour. It will make a fairly thin batter.
  4. In a 10-inch oven-proof skillet, melt the butter. ( Note: You can use another oven-proof pan that’s not good for the stove top. Just get whatever pan you use get nice and hot, even if you just put the butter in the pan and put the pan in the oven. A cast iron skillet is a good choice, though).
  5. Pour the batter into the hot pan.
  6. Put the pan IMMEDIATELY into the hot oven.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Lemon-Blueberry Syrup

I love the taste of lemon, butter and maple syrup. Add a berry to it, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, and wow! The keto dutch baby is nice, light and fluffy, but as is, it’s a bit on the bland side. Dutch babies always need toppings! A sugar-free maple syrupy compote is very easy.

Take a about a tablespoon of butter and a 1/4 cup of berries. Put them in a microwave-safe bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of sf maple syrup. Add juice from a quarter lemon. Pop this in the microwave for a minute. Stir. Taste. If it’s not sweet enough, add sweetener of your choice! Serve on the Dutch Baby!

The Carby Facts

According to Natasha, this recipe makes FOUR servings. Let me say this, no way in the world that anyone is going to eat 1/4th of this amazing delight. I’m giving you the facts for the WHOLE pancake. Because you’re going to eat it.

  • Calories: 656
  • Carbs: 6.8
  • Fiber: 2.8
  • Erythritol (sugar alcohol) 6 grams
  • Protein. 28.8

Taking the fiber AND the sugar alcohols out of this seems wild, but if most all the carbs are from sugar alcohol and then the fiber from the coconut flour– that’s about zero carbs. That’s probably not quite on the money, but even if you leave the net carbs at FOUR, this is a great carb bargain.

The Lemon-Blueberry Syrup

2 tablespoons of Lokanta sf maple syrup: 1 carb
1/4 cup blueberries: 5 carbs
1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice: 0.5

Total recipe: 10 carbs, including real blueberries. This is definitely a splurge, but if everyone in the family is carbing out with pancakes and waffles, this dish will turn heads — and make you feel totally not deprived!

Tomorrow, I’m going to do this recipe the “Dutch” way, with bacon and gruyere.

Keto Tuna Muffins!

When I was a girl, my mom would make that 1970s ladies’ magazine classic, “salmon croquettes.” Kind of like a poor man’s crab cake, this dish used the newly available ingredient, canned salmon. This tuna muffin recipe made me think of it. I snatched it out of my Facebook group.

Super-easy and it was getting rave reviews! Of course, I cannot leave a recipe like this ALONE.

First I substituted half a small avocado, mashed, for the mayo.

And then, I added a tablespoon of dijon mustard to give it all a little kick.

Finally I ditched the salt and instead incorporated pre-cooked BACON to provide the salty element, and a tablespoon of chopped in onion for a bit of extra acidity.

I used Trader Joe’s “Fiesta” cheese, a three cheese blend. And it was lovely.

I used cupcake liners in the muffin tin to make them a bit easier to handle.

The next level of this would be to substitute canned salmon for the tuna. Since everyone is looking for some easy meals to whip up for lunches and super-quick dinners, this one fills the bill nicely. The whole recipe has 8 net carbs! Divided into five muffins as I did, that’s about 3 carbs per muffin. I only used 1 egg in this and it held together fairly well, but I think it needs a bit more tweaking to get the flavor up and the carbs down. This would be good with a fresh green salad.

Once again. I ate the evidence. šŸ™‚ When I move to the salmon version, I’ll post pics.

Cheers, Lola

Peanut Butter (PB2) Cloud Bread “Pastry”

Ever hear of PB2 powder? It’s a peanut butter flavored powder that does provide a nice wallop of low-carb peanut butter flavor. I made this to go with a low-carb quick sugar-free jam. This recipe has no flour, but it is a confection that can be eaten with a nice sugar-free jam or flavored cream cheese, creating a tasty low-carb “danish.” Or as a peanutty bread suitable for a chicken salad sandwich. Or break it into soft croutons for a salad!

What is Cloud Bread?

Cloud bread is a kind of keto “cake” or “bread” that uses stiff, whipped egg whites to provide the “rise” and cream cheese to provide the basic structure that makes it more of a pastry–and less of a merengue. They are one of the oldest, most revered bread substitutes on the keto menu.

Most people enjoy this light confection and use the base recipe (here’s a good one with pictures).

Some people are not fond of the “eggy” nature of these breads. Egg yolks and cream cheese provide the base. Some eggs have a more “eggy” flavor than others; some people are more sensitive to that “eggy” taste. I find that the secret is to add strong seasonings like garlic, Italian seasoning, and onion powder if you’re looking for “sandwich material.”

A Slightly Sweet Cloud Bread / Pastry

In this recipe, I was aiming for something that would give me a good peanut butter flavor, using the PB2 powder, a low-carb ingredient you can find at Walmart and other places (I found mine at Giant. I live in the Washington DC area). My goal was to create “peanut butter and jam” flavor for a very small carb pricetag!

Cloud Bread Baking Tips

Tip #1. Start with eggs at room temperature.

Chefs often keep fresh eggs sitting on the counter. Home cooks buy eggs at the store and keep them in the fridge. You can get eggs to room temperature quickly by putting them in a bowl of lukewarm water and letting them sit for ten minutes or so.

Tip #2. Beat the eggs on high in a stand mixer. For a looooong time. And don’t forget the cream of tartar.

Unless you devote three days a week to “arm day” at the gym, getting the egg whites to form stiff peaks is going wear you out. I’m so so not there. If you’re just using an electric hand mixer, you are going to need to get patient. It’s going to take around 10 minutes on “high” to get those soft but slightly stiff peaks. Make the peaks too stiff and the texture will be a bit like styrofoam. Not stiff enough, there will be fragile.

Cream of tartar stabilizes those stiff so that they stand up well to the “folding” process when you add the base ingredients.

Tip #3. LOW oven setting.

These things need a low oven setting as they are more or less a form of merengue. Preheat the oven to 300 F.

Tip #4. Make flattish circles of the “dough” (all of the same size) onto parchment paper.

On the Internet, you will see pictures of cloud bread that looks like fluffy buns. They have the texture of light styrofoam and are not really edible. Food styling is often deceptive. You want flat, round disks.

I use Reynolds Wrap Parchment paper because it is marked out with lines to help me more easily see that my dollops are all roughly the same size. It helps to create an “even bake” so that all the pieces get done at the same time.

The Recipe

This makes for about 12 small, peanut-buttery pastries that can be garnished in many keto-friendly ways. Each piece was about 2 inches in diameter.

The Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, separated (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (sifted)
  • 4 tablespoons of Swerve (sifted) for the egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon of Swerve for the egg yolks
  • 2 ounces of cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of PB2 powder
  • Coconut oil spray (or other oil) to grease the parchment paper.

The Directions

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Put parchment paper on two baking sheets. Spray with coconut oil or otherwise grease the parchment paper.

Step 2. If you have a stand mixer, put the egg whites in the bowl and sift in the cream of tartar. Using the “whisk” attachment, whisk the eggs to high peaks (about speed 4) for from five to ten minutes–until the eggs form soft, slightly stiff peaks and can hold their shape.

If you’re using an electric hand mixer, you’re in for a long haul. Start beating at the highest speed.

Stop every so often to add the 4 tablespoons of Swerve, 1 tablespoon at a time, in the egg whites as they are beaten, until the four tablespoons of Swerve are incorporated.

Step 3.  In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks, cream cheese, and sifted PB2 powder. Add 1 tablespoon of sifted Swerve. The mixture should taste like a light peanut butter. This is your cream cheese/peanut butter base.

Step 4. Fold the beaten egg whites into the cream cheese / peanut butter base. I generally scoop the whites into the cream cheese base, one big spoonful at a time! I use a rubber spatula to scoop the base from the bottom of the bowl into the fluffy egg yolks. Then, I add another dollop of egg whites and repeat! I do this LITTLE BY LITTLE, one dollop of egg whites at a time, being careful to not crush the egg white fluff down too much.

The result should be a very light batter with little to NO white streaks of egg white in that batter.

Step 5. Using a large spoon or a small ladle, dollop the batter onto the parchment paper–making about six circles of the same size on each baking sheet. Flatten out the circles so they aren’t real high.

Step 6. Put this in the oven for 15 minutes (if using a convection oven); 20-25 minutes if using a regular oven.

Step 7. These pastries should release easily off the parchment paper, within a few minutes of getting out of the oven. Set them on a plate to cool.

The Results

I made this with keto quick jam for a peanut-butter “danish” that nicely captures a less-sweet PB&J snack with a low carbohydrate pricetag. Other ideas abound — such as a low-carb chocolate “schmear” — or a peanut butter flavored cream cheese perhaps? Hmmm.

The Carby Facts

Whole Recipe Facts

2 tablespoons of PB2 powder: 4 g carb times 2 (for the four tablespoons) (8)
2 ounces of cream cheese: 3 g carb
4 eggs = 2 carbs
Divided by 12 portions =13 carbs /12 would make this more than 1 carb per pastry. Let’s call it 1 carb and be done with it!

Add to this a heaping teaspoon of keto quick jam, and we’re talking a very nice pb & j snack for a ridiculous 2 carbs.

Keto Quick Jam

People try to avoid fruit in keto ways of eating. It is a bit of temptation, but there are some days when a dab of (sugarfree) jam would really brighten up a dish–let’s say a keto pancake or other low carb treat. This recipe makes for just a small portion of jam that can be eaten smeared on peanut butter cloud bread or a keto pancake. 1 tablespoon has about 1 carbs. And its ready in minutes.

The Secret : Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can jell up fruit in a very short time. They have no flavor of their own and swell up in liquid to create a gel-like base. I got the base for this recipe from Kitchn, one of my favorite cooking websites, but there are lots of these chia-based jams, (keto and non-keto) around the Internet.

You can use just about any fruit. In this one, I put together fairly high carb golden gooseberries, with low-carb raspberries, to create a not-too-tart, not-too-sweet jam for my peanut butter cloud bread.

The Other Secret: Swerve “Sweet Syrup.”

Swerve “confectionier’s” (fine) sweetener can produce a very nice sweet, no-carb, sweet syrup to cook the fruit in. I used 1 tablespoon of swerve per 1/3 cup of water and got it to a boil to create a sweet syrup.

Quick Gooseberry and Raspberry Jam

  • 2 ounces of golden gooseberries (half of a four ounce box), each berry split in half
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons Swerve (sifted)
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 1-2 tsp of chia seeds

Step 1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the sifted Swerve to the water. Add the fruit. Let the fruit cook down and the water cook off (about 5-6 minutes should do–or as much as 10 minutes) at a medium heat. Watch carefully, stir often so you don’t burn the fruit!

Step 2. Sieve the fruit through a wire mesh sieve, mashing out all the water you can. I reserve the liquid in case the chia seeds need more liquid to “jam” up.

Step 3. Put the sieved fruit into a container (jar or tupperware-type container with a tight-fitting lid). Add the chia seeds and stir, incorporating them thoroughly.

Step 4: Put in the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes.

DONE. That’s quick. Truthfully, the results were pretty jammy after about 5 minutes. This makes about 7 tablespoons of jam. It can keep for from 3-5 days in the fridge.

The Carby Facts

Golden gooseberries are delicious, tart, and a high-carb thing. Raspberries are low-carb but can easily get too, too sweet. In this recipe, I cook down 2 ounces of fresh gooseberries down to about 2 tablespoons of cooked fruit which makes for about 6 net carbs (over the ENTIRE recipe). Cooked raspberries cook down to 1/3 cup, over the entire recipe, which makes for about 5 tablespoons over the entire recipe, as near as I can figure, at 3g over the entire recipe. So the entire recipe measure out to about 7 tablespoons at 8 net carbs (based on Carb Manager statistics)–so a little over 1 carb per tablespoon, if I have this right. And its delicious.

You can do just about any other fruit with this, even frozen fruit. This is my first go at it. It was a great success on top of the peanut butter cloud bread.

Next up: The Peanut Butter Cloud Bread.

Keto Mac & Cheese (with Palmini Noodles)

Macaroni and cheese is a childhood favorite–and this palmini version is low in carbs and a synch to put together. You can add tuna for a delicious tuna noodle dish, or some fresh cooked brussel sprouts, even cooked broccolini! Here I used a smokey sausage. OMG, its creamy, soothing and full of that cheese flavor that never came out of a blue box! This is a quick, satisfying dish, good for a cold winter’s evening. It’s a total of 15 net carbs, so if you’re dead set on staying under 20 net carbs for the day, it might be a bit of a stretch for you. If you’re doing 30-40 carbs, it’s completely worth it.

Palmini Noodles as a Staple

I bought a case of the palmini noodles. It felt like an investment, but wow. They are a super-simple time-saver. There other advantage is that they give me a break from the meat-and-two-veg quality of the keto meal rotation. Sure, keto eating is good, but one does miss pasta!

Palmini come in 14 oz cans and since 2 or 3 ounces is a good serving (at about 2 net carbs), 14 ounces makes for several meals. I take them out of the can, drain them well, rinse them in water and put them in a plastic, sealed container, covered in milk. This way, they can soak for a day or two til I get around to making something noodley.

I need meals I can assemble quickly. I have a tendency to work too late and come home tired. Fighting DC traffic every day is like holding a second job. Going home late often means less traffic, so at least two days a week, I’m hitting the door at 7 pm or later. Pre-soaked palmini noodles means all I have to do is boil them up, pair them with a sauce and a protein, maybe adds some keto-friendly veggies and there we go!

Six year on a low-carb diet –and mac and cheese sounded like heaven.

The Recipe

This recipe paired a smokey maple sausage (Trader Joe’s Maple Bourbon Sausage) with a lovely sharp cheddar cream sauce. Fast, simple and filling, this was perfect for a late supper. This recipe is a meal for one, but if making this for more than one person, it can be easily doubled. Add three to six ounces of noodles and just double the sauce ingredients. The concept is simple: make a cream sauce, add herbs and cheese. Pair with pasta and a protein.

The Ingredients

  • 3 ounces of palmini noodles, soaked in milk for at least 20 minutes (I soak them overnight in milk in a sealed container in the fridge), drained.
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoons of butter
  • fresh or dried thyme (about 1/2 a teaspoon.)
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic (I used frozen crushed garlic)
  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • slices of fried sausage (I used just one)

The Directions

Step 1. Boil the noodles for ten minutes. While these are cooking, you can make the sauce. Boiling the noodles for this long a time substantially alters their texture, making them much more like pasta and less like a vegetable.

Step 2. Melt the butter in a saucepan.

Step 3. Add the onions and garlic to the sizzling butter. Let those cook for about three minutes.

Step 4. Add the heavy cream to the saucepan. Bring it to a boil and turn the heat down. Start whisking to incorporate the butter and the cream.

Step 5. Add the dried or fresh thyme, salt and pepper. Stir it around. Keep the heat low.

Step 6. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, whisking it in so that it melts and incorporates into a thickened, cheesy sauce.

Step 7. When the noodles are done, drain them and them in a bowl. Ladle on the cheese sauce. Add the protein (in this case, the fried sausage slices).

The Results

This was one of the best uses for the palmini noodles yet. The cheese sauce is very flavorful and softens and coats the noodles so that they are a very close match to wheat-based noodle products. Sharp cheddar is best in this, paired with the smokey sausage slices. I can see having this with kielbasa, as well!

The Carby Facts

  • Heavy cream, 5 net carbs
  • 3 ounces of palmini noodles, 2 net carbs
  • Cheddar cheese, 5 net carbs
  • Onions, 3 net carbs
  • The rest have less than 1 net carb per

That’s 15 net carbs for this dish. As you can see, it’s the heavy cream that provides most of the carbs–and surprisingly, the cheese isn’t “free” either. I was shocked. I based this recipe on a keto cheese sauce that said it was ONE net carb. OOPS. You know, I KNEW that it couldn’t be 1 carb, but I had no idea I’d be so far off. Heavy whipping cream has less that one net carb per serving–and a serving is once ounce. When you kick that up to SIX ounces, well then. The math gets real. šŸ˜¦

You can slim this down by substituting onion powder for the onion (but you would also lose the fiber). You could also reduce the amount of cream. In future, I am going to see about using protein powder and water–and reducing the amount of cream, to see if I can get this dish under 11 carbs! We’ll call this the “holiday” version. The good news for me? I had only had five carbs all day, so I kept my carb intake sufficiently low! Win!

Keto Pancakes: Hazelnut Raspberry Pancakes

A number of folks in the keto groups rave about Quest multi-purpose mix. It’s based on whey protein isolate, a product that is found in all kinds of whey protein shakes. In this post, I offer a simple pancake recipe, modified from one of the many versions on the Internet. In this recipe I use Torani sugar-free hazelnut syrup and five fresh raspberries for a single-serving recipe that yields 3 small pancakes. Lokanto maple syrup finishes it off nicely!

The origins of this recipe

As usual, Wikipedia provides everything you ever wanted to know about a topic, and whey protein isolate is no different. It’s basically protein extracted from dairy; it doesn’t tend to pose problems for the lactose intolerant (as lactose is extracted during the process).

In at least one recipe, someone used a Quest milkshake formula. Quest’s milkshakes AND the baking formula have xantham gum in their ingredients list–and that is the key thing, here. If you want to know if the protein shake whey formula you have in YOUR cupboard could be substituted here for Quest, I’d look for xantham gum in the ingredients list.

I used the Quest multi-purpose mix, which does not have any specific flavoring ingredients. This means I’ll have to add them. I have a number of Torani sugar-free syrups in the cupboard and raspberries in the fridge: hazelnut raspberry is a nice combination, so I started there. This is a good way to punch up my morning protein consumption–adding 24 grams of protein to my diet just from the Quest powder alone. As I also used 3 tablespoons of butter, which also upped my (good) fat — which have also been a bit low this week.

Keto baking requires flavor additions. While you can get away with fairly plain wheat-based recipes, taking away the wheat means taking away considerable (wheat) flavor. Keto baked goods are not going to taste exactly the same (no matter how many people swear to this). In addition, we also lose the dopamine smack to the brain that wheat provides. This is why so many find keto baking disappointing.

Plain keto pancakes are likely to taste strongly of egg without additional flavor components. In this recipe, my son (who has a very sensitive palate) remarked on the pronounced “eggy” flavor, even with the additions I made. (He tasted it without the Lokanto sugar-free maple syrup, which helps to minimize this flavor).

The Recipe

Cook’s Note: Here we are going to use the baker’s method of mixing the wet ingredients together first, then adding the dry ingredients, little by little, whisking them into the wet ingredients to incorporate them fully. This recipe creates a “pancake” batter consistency recipe — it’s good for the usual “thin” pancake. Since the only real dry ingredients are the Quest powder and a dash of salt, that’s added last.

Ingredients List

  • 1 scoop Quest protein multi-purpose mix
  • 1 ounce of water (I used a jigger to measure)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar-free hazelnut syrup
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk (or actual milk) — I used a coconut/almond milk blend from Califa
  • 5 minced or chopped raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts
  • ghee or coconut oil (or other oil) for frying

The Directions

Step 1: Put all the wet ingredients (water, almond milk or regular milk, sugar-free syrup, melted butter, large egg) into a bowl. Whisk to combine them.

Step 2. Heat a skillet or griddle to a medium heat. If you’re using a skillet, add a teaspoon or two of ghee or cooking oil to fry the pancakes. (Non-stick griddles often don’t need much more than a spray of coconut oil or butter flavored oil). I like ghee because it adds a buttery flavor. It has a high “smoke point” and so it doesn’t burn easily. (Ghee is just butter fat that has the milk solids removed).

Step 3. Add a good dash of salt and a tablespoon or so of the Quest multi-purpose mix (or protein shake) to the wet ingredients. Add the mix, little by little, stirring (whisking) rapidly until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. The mixture should have a pancake batter consistency.

Ā Step 4.Ā  Add a spoonful of batter to the hot skillet or griddle. Place a few pieces of raspberry and walnut on the wet pancake surface, spacing them out. When the edges of the pancake are dry and the middle is beginning to look more solid, it’s ready to flip. Depending on how high your heat is

Cook’s Note:Ā ProteinĀ pancakesĀ areĀ different. Wheat pancakes show that they are cooked through when bubbles open in the middle of the pancake, pop and stay open. This didn’t happen with these protein pancakes. I had to keep checking the underside to make sure it was nicely brown before flipping them. The flip was difficult as the pancake was still a bit runny on the top. Get a big, broad spatula to help with the flip.

Step 5. Ā FlipĀ theĀ pancake. Cook for about another 2 minutes. Put on a plate. You may need to add a little more ghee or oil to the pan, heat that up and start the next pancake.

Repeat until you’ve used up all the batter. I made 3 small pancakes with this recipe, just enough for me. šŸ™‚

The Results

I served this up with the two tablespoons of Lokanto sugar-free maple syrup. I ate the whole thing entirely and didn’t even take a picture! (Apologies, I’ll post one tomorrow). I agree with my son that I could taste the egg in it. It could use more flavoring ingredients: more sugar-free syrup, possible the addition of stevia or other sweetener. The raspberries and the walnuts were really nice, adding flavor and texture (as well as fiber!) at a very low level of additional carbs.

Overall : needs more sweet. I would in future increase the number of chopped raspberries. This also needs more hazelnut flavor. But this is definitely better than any of the other keto pancakes I’ve had over the years. Yes, it’s more like “real pancakes” — but don’t believe that it is “just like” actual pancakes.

The Carby Facts

I keyed all of this into CarbManager and got 2 net carbs for the entire recipe NOT including the Lokanto syrup, walnuts and raspberries. The Lokanto syrup added 1 carb. The walnuts and raspberries each added 1 carb. This brings this to a total of 4 carbs for all three pancakes, including the syrup, walnuts and raspberries.

At 562 calories, calorically, this recipe is not that cheap — it’s good to note that butter added 300 calories to this meal. In future, I plan to cut the fat back slightly in this recipe — and add more sweetener to try to get this recipe whittled down a bit in calories. But it is good fat and I’ve been lacking in the fat categories this week.

This is definitely a “first version” — with more versions to come! I am fond of the “Dutch baby” pancake and that will definitely be on the menu in this holiday baking week I have before me!

Best holiday wishes, ~ Lola

Crispy Pork with Palmini Stir Fry Noodles and Peanut Sauce

In this post, I experiment with palmini noodles — a vegetable product made out of hearts of palm (see my review here) and whey isolate to create a crispy pork dish low in sugar and carbs–served with a peanut sauce that uses Swerve instead of sugar to balance flavors. I amp up the flavor a bit with PB2 powder. The ingredient list is long but the flavor is exceptional.

My search for keto phad thai

I can actually make authentic phad thai in all its sugary goodness. It’s a carb nightmare. The rice noodles alone are 21 carbs for a mere three ounces. The other ingredients of an authentic sauce (like this one) include a healthy dose of sugar: palm sugar and tamarind paste. Palm sugar and regular sugar are about the same in terms of carbs (4g) — and tamarind paste is 3 g carbohydrate per ounce. But it’s the rice noodles that are killer.

Keto phad thai recipes substitute low-sugar ketchup for tamarind paste, which is hard to find. It’s….okay? I guess? Frankly, the ketchup based recipes are at best, so-so. I’ve tried to make tamarind paste from frozen tamarind fruit but so far the results are ghastly.

Going through the keto phad thai recipes, I saw quite a number using peanut butter. Here, I think there is some confusion about what phad thai actually is supposed to taste like. I’ve never seen peanut butter as an ingredient in any authentic phad thai sauce. Peanut butter is a key ingredient in peanut sauce, and peanut noodles are very good–these recipes seem to be some kind of mashup of phad thai and peanut noodles. So hmmmm. A peanut noodle dish is probably easier than continuing to struggle with phad thai. Maybe keto phad thai is something I could work up to over time –but for now, I’m hungry!

Palmini Noodles as a Swap for Rice Noodles Totally Works

At 2 net carbs per serving (serving size is about 2 ounces), palmini liguine (noodles) save this dish entirely as a keto meal. They need to be prepared according to the package–and that is a fiddly process.

  • RINSE the noodles thoroughly after getting them out of the package or can.
  • SOAK the noodles in milk for 20 minutes
  • BOIL the noodles for 10 minutes

And then you’ll get a great soft-textured noodle that soaks up sauce flavors like a rice noodle and can be stir fried rapidly in ghee or coconut oil (flavored with garlic, pepper and whatever other flavors please you).

Other Weird Ingredient Swaps in this Recipe

Whey protein isolate is a a carb-friendly substitute for AP flour. It was recommended in one of the keto groups, touted for making “the best”keto pancakes. In recipes around the Internet and in keto cookbooks, whey isolate is routinely used in “low carb baking mixes.” Two tablespoons have 1 carb. Compare that with AP flour’s 21.5 carbs for 1/4 of a cup and you can see the savings. It can be used as a thickening agent or as a breading–there are a number of keto fried chicken recipes out there that use whey protein isolate instead of flour.

PB2 powder is a keto friendly substitute for peanut butter. In this recipe, I do use 2 tablespoons of basic JIF peanut butter (6 net carbs for the entire recipe). But it didn’t have enough peanut flavor. Instead of adding more regular peanut butter, I amped up the peanut flavor with 2 tablespoons of PB2 powder, for 3 net grams of carbs. Half the carbs is a considerable savings–next time, I will forego the JIF entirely and just use the PB2 powder! I found this at Walmart and Giant. It’s great for flavoring things like whipped cream or cream cheese–the cream cheese gives it a bit of a tang.

This recipe is still a work in progress but man, it was certainly tasty. There are lots of “substitutes” in this list. I’m still tweaking this.

The Recipe

The Ingredients

The essentials
Two to four thin loin pork chops, cut into about 8 strips each
You could also use chicken thighs, also cut into strips
2-3 tablespoons of wheat protein isolate (for coating)
Salt and pepper
Palmini brand palm heart linguine (2 ounces per person)

The Sauce
1 can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of PB2 powder
2 tablespoons peanut butter
(You can substitute 2 additional tablespoons of PB2 powder)
1 tablespoon soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 tablespoon of Swerve
1 tablespoon garlic paste (or 1 minced clove of garlic, maybe 2)
1 tablespoon of Frontera chili adobe paste (or Sriracha sauce)
1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1/4 to 1/2 fresh lime, squeezed–a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or other fruit vinegar can be substituted.)
1 tablespoon of ginger paste or grated fresh ginger (optional)

I typically also put about a tablespoon of garlic paste in the cooking oil or ghee for flavor. You can easily use less (or none) in this recipe. You can also substitute 3 minced cloves for the garlic paste.

The Veggies

I like broccolini, red pepper, and chopped onions for this dish. Broccolini can be hard to find. Chopped broccoli or zucchini slices go well with this instead. I’m also a big fan of sliced mushrooms (about 3 or 4) in this dish, mushrooms are totally optional. About 1 to 2 cups of chopped vegetables, and a quarter chopped onion were used in making the dish pictured.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the noodles. 
Rinse the palmini noodles well in water: put them in a sieve and rinse well under a running tap. Then, put the noodles in a bowl and cover the noodles with milk. Set aside — letting them soak for 20 minutes while you get everything else ready.

Step 2. Prepare the pork.
Cut the center loin pork chops into half inch strips. Salt and pepper the pork.

Put 2 tablespoons of whey protein isolate on a plate. Dredge the pork in the whey protein isolate, rolling them around in the powder into they’re coated on all sides. Set the pork aside.

Note: I used four pork chops — but it was really a great deal of meat. I think this recipe would do well with two or three pork chops instead. I have a 6 foot five inch tall teenaged son whose appetite is the stuff of legends. This filled both of us up very well. He got more meat, I got more veggies.

Here you can see how I cut the pork into strips. I got about 8 strips per pork chops. It was MORE than enough for two people! But I have a teenaged son whose appetite is epic.

Step 3. Prepare the vegetables.  If you haven’t already done so, dice the onions, mince the garlic (unless you’re using paste), cut up the red peppers and brocollini or zucchini into small pieces. Chop the mushrooms (if using). Set aside.

Step 4: Prepare the peanut sauce.  Empty a can of coconut milk into a sauce pan. Add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and two tablespoons PB2 powder. Bring up the heat to about medium heat so that the sauce simmers. Add the garlic paste (or minced garlic). Stir. Add Swerve (about a tablespoon). Taste. Adjust to your liking. (I sometimes add ginger paste to this, too).

Peanut sauce really requires that you taste the recipe frequently as you go along. The proportions here will give you a slightly spicy, slightly garlicky sauce with a good zing — but people’s tolerance to heat is very hard to measure. I used Frontera band chipotle adobo chili paste as I like the smoky heat of it–and it is a little bit lower in carbs than Sriracha sauce. If you use sriracha sauce, you can hold back more on the garlic, since sriracha is chili and garlic (and sugar).

Be careful. I add chili pastes a teaspoon at a time, checking and tasting as I go along as these flavors are powerful. It’s easy to ruin this sauce with too much spice.

Let the sauce reduce. It should be a medium brown color and reasonably thick. This will mean cooking it over medium heat, stirring occasionally for five to seven minutes.

Step 5. Heat up the wok or skillet and cook the pork. Add oil or ghee to the pan, along with onions, garlic and ginger (if using)–and add the pork to the sizzling hot oil. Add a sprinkle of soy sauce for flavor. When the pork is cooked, take the pork (and browned onions) out of the pan and put it on a plate or bowl. Set aside.

Step 6. After removing the pork, stir fry the vegetables. Start with red peppers, broccoli and or zucchini, then, a bit later, add the chopped mushrooms (if using) cooking them until they’re getting a bit soft and just cooked through.

Step 7. Stir fry the prepared noodles (from step 1) with the vegetables in the wok or skillet. Add a teaspoon or two of lime juice or vinegar. Combine them well. Stir fry the noodles so that they become coated with the oil from them pan. Add cashews or peanuts.

Step 8. Return the pork to the pan and reheat the pork.

Step 9. Serve the noodles, pork and vegetables on a plate (or in a bowl). Taste the sauce. Adjust seasons if needed.

 Cover the pork and vegetables with a about a half cup of sauce.  Mix it up. Squeeze additional lime juice over the whole plate and enjoy.

Here’s the dish right before I poured the peanut sauce on it.

The Results

The wheat protein isolate was just as good at creating a crisp texture for the pork as wheat flour–and my son made no comment on it. (He notices EVERYTHING). I’ll be exploring this more as a food coating. It seems to have promise for fried chicken and fried pork chops

The palmini noodles worked very well. Personally, I find that preparing rice noodles can be even more annoying than palmini noodles. Rice noodles ALSO need to be soaked in hot water for at least an hour — preferably a couple of hours. They’re a tangled mess and its hard to make less than the entire package without getting broken rice noodles everywhere. Palmini noodles were much easier to deal with EVEN WITH all the prep steps. And my son thought they were just fine. I liked them better than rice noodles in this dish.

PB2 was such a big help to upping the flavor with lower carbs that next time, I don’t plan to use actual peanut butter at all.

Carby Facts

I figure my values this way for the ENTIRE recipe, which served two people

PB2 (2 tablespoons) 3 net carbs
Peanut butter (2 tablespoons) 6 net carbs
Palmini noodles (4 oz) 4 net carbs
1 tablespoon whey protein isolate: 1 net carb
Veggies:
Red peppers 2 carbs
Onions 3 net carbs
Brocollini 3 net carbs
Mushroom 2 net carbs

Sri Racha has sugar in it, so it might add a carb or two. Frontera Chipotle Chili Adobe sauce has less than a gram of carbohydrate per tablespoon.

These maybe a bit over–and that comes out to around 12 net carbs per serving, total.

More soon on palmini noodles. I just ordered a case.