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Easy Keto Ground Beef Stronganoff

This is a quick & easy one skillet meal that is not only low carb, but delicious & full flavored. Transform ordinary ground beef and mushrooms into something special!  

Simple Ingredients, Complex Flavors

12 ingredients for beef stroganoff

Many of these ingredients are pantry staples for most people. If they aren’t, they can easily be purchased at your local grocery store.

Brandy was the only ingredient I wasn’t familiar with. I’ve always wondered why we even need alcohol in this recipe.

According to Food52 blog post, here’s why alcohol is used with cooking. “When used properly, alcohol improves your food. It bonds with both fat and water molecules, which allows it to carry aromas and flavor. In a marinade, alcohol helps the season the meat and carry flavor.

What is Beef Stroganoff's origin?

A quick Google search told me this recipe originated in Russia.  There are a few versions, but we know for sure that this recipe was developed by a French chef. His name was Charles Briere, and he won a cooking contest with Beef Stroganoff. 

Fork & Plate wrote an interesting blog post about the origin of Beef Stroganoff. The recipe has evolved throughout the years. Here is the recipe that claims to be the REAL Beef Stroganoff.  Bon Appetit magazine also did an in-depth history about the Stroganoff family.  An excerpt from the article reveals that “…the original beef Stroganoff recipe derived from a basic French mustard for seasoning beef, combined with a dollop of Russian sour cream, which Stroganoff’s chef named after his benefactor.”

I was inspired by Low Carb Maven to make this Keto Hamburger Stroganoff. Its simplicity was what attracted me. The taste was what made me write a blog post! 👏🏽 

I hope you try this recipe out. It takes about 30 minutes to cook this dish from start to finish! 

A dish of beef stroganoff with a side of saute spinach and cherry tomatoes
I paired my beef stroganoff with some saute spinach and cherry tomatoes. It's super satisfying and 100% low in carbs.

Easy Keto Ground Beef Stroganoff

This is a quick & easy one skillet meal that is not only low carb, but delicious & full flavored. Transform ordinary ground beef and mushrooms into something special!  
Author: MaiTai

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ¼-½ cup diced onions
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp broth
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1-2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1-2 tsp salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • On medium high heat, warm up a skillet. Add butter and allow it to melt. Add the mushrooms, cook for about 3-5 minutes. Then add the onions and cook until it's translucent & soft.
  • Remove the mushroom & onion mixture. Set aside for later.
  • Brown and break up the ground beef. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until it's no longer pink.
  • Add brandy, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Add the mushroom mixture back with the meat, even the liquid. Sprinkle nutmeg on top. Stir and combine all the ingredients.
  • Add cream cheese and stir until it's melted. Then add in sour cream. Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce is thick and creamy.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust according to your liking. Sprinkle some parsley on top for a pop of color.

Video

Starting A Business During COVID-19 Pandemic

I Got Furloughed From My 9-5

On May 7th, I got the notice that I was furloughed. This is the video that I made the day after the notice. I had 24 hours to reflect and it helped me kicked Cooking With Mai Tai into high gear. 

For the past several months, I have been figuring out how to share my cooking with people. I may have figured out a way. I have been networking like crazy via Facebook and Instagram.

I joined a group of leaders at Asian Hustle Network (AHN) on Facebook. This group is nothing like any groups I’ve been a part of because it’s full of people like me being featured front and center. 

I’ve met so many friends who are hustlers, dreamers and action takers. They have immigrant stories and upbringing similar to mine. It’s amazing that during this time of uncertainty and economic downturn, there are so many people pivoting and creating positivity with what they have.

My YouTube channel grew to over 100 subscribers. It was a BIG DEAL for me because I was able to get a personalized 📽YouTube link 🌐www.youtube.com/cookingwithmaitai 🌐!

My Instagram followers surpassed the 1K mark a few weeks ago. I’m finally getting genuine engagement and comments on my posts. It makes my heart🧡💙💛 so happy when I see a comment saying how much value I provide.

Things are finally falling into place. I have put A LOT of work into Cooking With Mai Tai. This started out as a place for me to share what I made for dinner, which eventually evolved into sharing my keto transformation journey. I am inspired by the people in the keto community. Most are “regular” people who initially went on keto for weight loss, but stayed for the health benefits.

I will be doing regular updates to share what’s #cookingwithmaitai ‘s business journey! 

Until then, thank you for your support and love!

💛💛💛Mai

Keto Low Carb Bánh Cuốn aka Steamed Rice Flour Rolls

This recipe is as close to the real bánh cuốn as one can get! Seriously, I had been missing this in my life since I’ve gone keto. I never thought it would be possible to replicate the thin rice sheet…but I stand corrected.

A member from Keto Asian Flavours group on Facebook posted this recipe a year ago, July 2019. I remembered when I first saw it, my jaw dropped. I immediately saved it and had every intention of making it. Well, needless to say, I didn’t make it until now and I’m so happy!

 

Facebook recipe posted in recipe group
The original recipe posted in the Keto Asian Flavours FB Group
Jelly powder package showing front and back
This brand of jelly was recommended for optimum results

The original bánh cuốn is super labor intensive😭 and way more work🥵 than this keto version. I wouldn’t attempt making it at home, this is one of those dishes that I’d leave to the experts to make.

With this keto version though, you can literally eat fresh bánh cuốn in less than 30 minutes!🤩 I’m seriously over the moon excited that I was able to make this recipe successfully!!!  This opens the door to many other types of rice flour type of dishes. 

Without nước chấm, the dish will be incomplete. Make this keto version of nước chấm to drown your keto rice rolls in. I usually tweak it to my liking, adding more lime or fish sauce. Use this as guideline to start you in the right spot.  I usually make a jar of keto nước chấm and store it in my fridge. It keeps really well in an air tight container. 

You can use keto nước chấm for spring rolls, egg rolls, grilled pork noodles, and many other yummy Vietnamese food! 

Dipping sauce recipe

Watch my cooking tutorial to see how I make bánh cuốn from start to finish. It’s  a simple recipe and I hope you do make it. 

A chopstick holding a piece of bánh cuốn
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Keto Low Carb Bánh Cuốn aka Steamed Rice Flour Rolls

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Low Carb Asian Recipes
Servings: 2 people
Author: MaiTai

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1-2 lb ground pork
  • ½ white onion diced
  • ½ cup black fungus soak in water for 15-20 minutes
  • 1 tbsp mushroom seasoning or fish sauce
  • pinch ground black pepper

Keto Rice Flour Batter

  • 1.5 cup broth of choice
  • ½ cup coconut milk or cream
  • 5 g Dragon brand jelly powder

Instructions

Make the fillings

  • Saute ground pork in a medium high heat skillet
  • Add softened black fungus
  • Incorporate the two ingredients and cook until most of the pink is gone from the pork
  • Add in your diced onion and seasoning. Mix well and make sure it's evenly coated. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  • Sprinkle ground black pepper and set aside to cool.

Make the keto batter

  • In a sauce pan on medium heat, add broth, coconut milk and jelly powder.
  • Use a whisk to stir until mixture comes to a boil. Mix well so there's no clump of jelly.

Assemble the rolls

  • Set out at least 3 large flat plates to pour the batter on
  • Use a ladle and pour a thin layer of batter on the plate, swirl the batter to get even coverage
  • Set aside to cool for about 2 minutes. Make more batter (you get better after making a few keto rice sheets)
  • Once cooled and batter has gelled, add the filling. Make sure to spread it horizontally so that it's not clumped in the middle. Think of it like a burrito.
  • The rice sheet is slippery and will slide around on the plate. Use a large spatula and gently roll it. It will be very delicate, so be careful when you roll or lift it
  • Garnish the bánh cuốn with sliced fresh cucumbers, mint, blanched bean sprouts. Pour a generous amount of keto nước chấm on top. Enjoy!

Notes

If the batter gets too clumpy or thick, just reheat it until the batter is liquid again.
I suggest making a bunch of sheets before rolling.
I've experimented adding the filling right after I pour the batter. This seemed to keep the fillings in place better for rolling.
Be patient and gentle...it's basically rolling a thin sheet of slippery jello.

Cooking Challenge Inspired by Buzzfeed Tasty’s “I Draw, You Cook” Show

Matilda and I are currently obsessed with Buzzfeed Tasty’s “I Draw, You Cook” on Hulu and YouTube. While watching the show, Matilda had a gleam in her eye😍. She asked for some art supply and started working on her drawing. 

Uh-oh. I think I know what’s going to happen next! 

There are 3 seasons available on Hulu.
Each episode is about 10 to 15 minutes long.

Matilda challenged me to a real life episode of “I Draw, You Cook!”

What can I say but…

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

The premise is pretty genius and diabolical. A child comes up with an original drawing and a chef makes their vision come to life. Then the chef’s creation gets an honest critique from the child via some choice emojis. In later episodes, there are two chefs that competes to bring the drawing to life. 

I mean, what could possibly go wrong?😱😨😏

There are no recipes! The chef only has the drawing and the child’s imaginative instructions to follow. There’s a high likelihood that it could go horribly wrong and be a disastrous mess!

Matilda in deep thoughts about the challenge.
Her vision of unicorns and cake for Chef Mommy.

If you’ve met Matilda, you would know that she has a slight obsession with unicorns🦄. So naturally, her vision would be full of the magical creatures🦄 and sweet treats🍩🍪🧁. It’s also clear that she doesn’t have any love for fruits or veggies❌🛑⛔🥑🥬🥦!

A box of classic yellow cake mix.
Key ingredients for success.

I had two simple requirement:

  1. Needs to be EASY
  2. Doesn’t require a trip to the market

Matilda’s requirements were:

  1. There must be chocolate, vanilla and frosting.
  2. There are unicorns at the party.
  3. It needed to be as close to the drawing as possible.
Four types of cupcakes: Marshmallows, Pink, Double Chocolate, Chocolate Chip

So this is how I broke it down in my mind.

Luckily, my requirements were easily fulfilled. I found a box of Duncan Hine’s Yellow Cake Mix in the cupboard, so no shopping was required👩🏽‍🍳🙌🏽! It was exactly what I needed and all I had to do was add oil, water & eggs. Mix and bake. 

The cupcakes🧁 had to be colorful🌈. So I divided the cake mix into 4 batches. The first cupcake was double chocolate🍫! I made it by mixing in cocoa powder and chocolate chips. 

For the pink cupcakes, I used Suncore Food’s Pink Pitaya Dragon Fruit Powder. It’s a natural food coloring free of dyes and preservatives. It yielded a beautiful vibrant pink color! 

The last two mixtures were just variations of the yellow cake. I added marshmallows to one and chocolate chips in the other. 

Matilda's collection of My Little Pony
An assortment of vegetables

Matilda had some My Little Pony figures were perfect party guests. We also had a great cast of vegetables🍅🥦🥑 dying to crash this epic unicorn party. 

Watch our premiere episode of "I Draw, You Cook" to find out how it went!

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Easy Korean BBQ At Home (Low Carb & Keto Approved)

One of my favorite things to eat is Korean BBQ. Normally I don’t like to wait a ridiculous amount of time to eat, but Korean BBQ is an exception to my no-line waiting rule.

When I eat Korean BBQ, I always choose All You Can Eat restaurants. My family’s favorite is Gen and Road to Seoul.

There are a ton of protein varieties (chicken, pork, beef, seafood, tongue, intestines)! Not to mention all those banchan (side dishes) you can eat while waiting for your meat to cook. Definitely need to wear my stretchy pants when I go out for Korean BBQ! 

But you know what, it’s not that hard to bring Korean BBQ home and still have an authentic delicious experience. The amount of banchan you have will depend on how willing you are to make or buy the various sides. Same goes for the meat, I tend to keep it simple with 2 to 3 choices. 

Low Carb Korean BBQ Marinade

You only need six ingredients to make this Korean BBQ marinade.
Blend all the ingredients in a blender and it's ready to go.
Toss your chicken in the sauce & refrigerate for a few hours to overnight.

The key to good Korean BBQ is the marinade. I found an easy and delicious Keto Korean BBQ Bulgogi Marinade from LowCarbingAsian. It was simple and only used 5 or 6 ingredients I had on hand. 

I stuck pretty close to the original recipe. The marinade was perfect. I didn’t have any rib eye or chuck, but I had some chicken thighs that would be just fine. I also threw in some frozen shrimp in the marinate before dinner time to added a little more variety. The pork belly didn’t require any marinade, just thinly slice it and throw it on the grill. 

I made the marinade in the morning, and ate it a few hours later at dinner. Check out my Keto Korean BBQ at Home video to see the process from start to finish. 

Korean BBQ Spread: Night One

Meat & veggie setup for Korean BBQ
Meat & veggie setup for Korean BBQ

As far as the side dishes or banchan, I only had kimchi and a side salad. Check out Korean Bapsang’s collection of 15 Korean Vegetable Side Dishes (banchan) for some ideas.

I supplemented our Korean BBQ with fresh asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini and cherry tomatoes the first night.  Absolutely optional, but I air fried the veggies (except for the bell peppers) to help it cook faster on the grill. I air-fry them at 350 for about 10 minutes while I was setting up. 

In terms of the grill, we just used a good old Presto griddle that has been in the family forever. I love it because it’s nonstick and has a large cooking surface. It’s easy to clean and you don’t have to add any oil. Plus, you can control and adjust the temperature to fit your cooking need. 

Korean BBQ Spread: Night Two

The protein remained the same the second night: chicken, pork belly and shrimp. But we decided last minute to add bacon. It was really tasty! 

We had some leftover grilled veggies from night one, but it wasn’t enough. I blanched some cabbage and threw on a quick vinaigrette. I grilled Trader Joe’s French green beans to balance out all the meat.  I simply coated the beans with some avocado oil and sprinkled on some Bae Blend #fauxtatopotahto seasoning

Meat & veggie setup for Korean BBQ
Meat & veggie setup for Korean BBQ

Low Carb Korean BBQ Marinade

This Korean BBQ marinade is basically good on any type of protein. Use monkfruit to cut down on the carb.
Prep Time10 mins
Servings: 4
Author: MaiTai

Equipment

  • Blender or food processor
  • Griddle

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 1/2 whole onion (cut into rough chunks)
  • 2-3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce/tamari/coconut amino
  • 2 tbsp sweetener (i used Lakanto Golden)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Veggies

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1-2 large bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 whole zucchini (sliced about 1cm thick)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomato

Protein

  • 1 lb chicken thighs cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 lb thinly sliced pork belly
  • 10 whole shrimp

Instructions

Marinade Directions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender/food processor and blend.
  • Place chicken in a container and pour marinade on top. Mix well and make sure all the pieces are coated with the marinade. You may add shrimp now or 20 minutes before the cooking process.
  • Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight for maximum absorption.

Cooking on the Griddle

  • Preheat the griddle at 400°F. Cook the chicken first because it takes the longest.
  • Add in the other protein. Use tongs or chopsticks to handle the raw meat.
  • Place veggies on one side of the griddle. You're looking for the veggies to be a little bit char on the outside.

Video

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AeroGarden Harvest 360 Unboxing

I am currently the proud owner of TWO AeroGarden. Both of them are variations of Harvest 6 pods model. I’m determined to grow my own food and this is the easiest way I know how to do it. It’s a great hobby and totally puts a smile on my face every day.  

AeroGarden Harvest lettuce
The first Harvest growing lettuce, tomatoes & parsley.
The 2nd unit, the Harvest 360, growing six types of lettuce.

I’m one of those new plant mom that take lots of pictures and share it with people, whether they’re interested or not. Thankfully, there’s private Facebook group for AeroGarden Enthusiasts. These people are just like me! 

Most of them have multiple units in various sizes and pod capacities. I find it extremely helpful for a beginner (like me) to go get inspired and get specific answers about my garden. I highly recommend joining the FB group if you’re thinking about growing your own food.

Below are just a sample of the amazing gardens that are posted daily in this group. My garden aspire to be like these gardens when they grow up.

Watch me unbox and install the Harvest 360 in less than 30 minutes. It was super easy and everything worked the way it’s supposed to.

Play Video
Day 1 & 2 growth
Day 5 & 10 growth
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Low Carb Keto Instant Pot Chicken Pho

Isn't making pho an all day process?

The stove-top method does take hours and hours of simmering to extract the flavor from the bones.

However, with the invention of the electric pressure cooker, making chicken pho is ridiculously EASY and FAST. You only need a few ingredients and you’ll have a steaming bowl of homemade pho in less than 3 hours. No need to go through the hassle of going to a restaurant every time you have a pho craving.

Even though it’s relatively fast in comparison to the stove-top or slow cooker method, it does take up to 3 hours from start to finish. And depending on the size of your Instant Pot, the pressurization process can take up to 60 to 80 minutes

There are some things that you can do to expedite the broth making process. Use hot water instead of cold water. With a big pot of broth, it will take some time to boil and then build pressure. In addition to hot water, help it come to pressure by using the saute mode at the beginning stage instead of waiting until you finish prepping all your ingredients.

Boiling broth ready to be ladled into pho bowls

What kind of chicken do I use?

The best thing about chicken pho is that it’s economical. Prices of a raw whole chicken ranges between $10-$20 depending on the quality and size. It is not necessary to use a whole chicken, you may use drumsticks or cut up chicken parts. And if you’re not not squeamish, chicken feet will give you collagen rich broth. 

The key is not to overcook your chicken. With the Instant Pot, you only need 10 minutes of active pressure cooking to extract all the goodness from the chicken bones. Keep in mind, the chicken is cooking while it comes to pressure, as well as when the pressure is being released.

Where do I get pho spices?

Pho spice packets may be a bit hard to get if you don’t live near an Asian supermarket. However, there are online retailers on Amazon and Etsy willing to help you out. There are subtle variations of pho spices depending on what recipes you follow. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to use ALL of the spices that is called for, do the best that you can.

Another note about pho spices, read the ingredients carefully, you don’t need fillers like sugar or MSG. Check out my spice analysis where I show you the five essential pho ingredients that you can assemble yourself. Andrea Nguyen from Viet World Kitchen, explains the foundation of pho spices and may even answer questions you didn’t even know you had.

What vegetables should I use?

The next most important building block are the vegetables. Basic veggies like ginger, carrots & onions are used to add natural sweetness to the broth. I sometimes add jicama or daikon if I have those on hand.

According to The Kitchn, you need to char the onions and ginger to help add a smoky aroma that helps the broth develop a more complex and deeper flavor.  No need to peel them, just cut them in half, and roast them in the oven for 10 minutes at 400F. 

It’s important to wash your veggies well before placing them in your pot. Again, there’s no need to peel the carrots, just roughly cut into 3-4 inch pieces. You will be discarding the vegetables because it’ll be flavorless and mushy after it’s done cooking. 

I don’t add rock sugar or MSG to my broth because I don’t think it’s necessary. The flavor comes from the bones, spices and vegetables. 

Check out my Instagram post to see what my pho broth looks like.

Bowl of chicken pho with heart shaped sriracha

What kind of noodles can I use?

When I went keto, I thought that I had to give up noodles for good. Luckily that’s not the case, I can still be low carb and eat my noodles too! 

I had no idea that low carb noodles existed, and it’s not even a new thing. Japanese people have been eating shiratake for ages. Pogogi does an excellent job explaining what shiratake is all about

There are a few low carb keto noodle options that are good substitutes to the traditional pho noodles. Shiratake noodles, not to be confused to shiitake, are my go to whenever I have pho cravings. I like the fettuccine style over the spaghetti version. 

Kelp noodle is another noodle that I really like. I was first introduced to kelp noodles in an Asian Keto Facebook Group. If you’ve ever eaten glass noodles, it tastes exactly like it to me. It’s a little bit more fussy to prepare than shiratake, but well worth the effort. Kelp noodles are crunchy and rubbery when it comes out of the package.  You have to soften it with baking soda and lemon for about 10-15 minutes. Very Well Fit explains the benefit of kelp noodles and its nutritional value.

Once you’ve mastered chicken pho, beef pho is not that much harder. The difference between beef and chicken pho is the type of bones used and cooking time.  Ready to expand your pho mastery? Make my Low Carb Keto Instant Pot Beef Pho. I have a detailed You Tube video teaching you how to make beef pho from scratch.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Pho (Pho Ga)

Making chicken pho (pho ga) is ridiculously EASY with the Instant Pot. You only need a few ingredients and you'll have a steaming bowl of homemade pho in a few hours. No need to go through the hassle of going to a restaurant every time you have a pho craving.
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: chicken pho, chicken recipe, easy pho, homemade pho, instant pot chicken pho, instant pot pho, instant pot recipes, pho

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Stainless Steel Basket (nice to have)

Ingredients

Chicken Broth

  • 1 whole chicken drumsticks or bone in thighs
  • 2-3 whole carrots cut in 1/2 or 1/3
  • 1 whole onion cut in 1/2 or 1/4
  • 1 whole ginger cut in 1/2
  • 2-3 tbsp mushroom seasoning
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce

Pho Spices

  • 3-6 whole star anise
  • 3-6 whole whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 pod cardamom

Garnishes

  • 1 whole thinly sliced onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 package bean sprouts
  • 1-2 whole lime or lemon wedges
  • 1-2 whole thinly sliced green onions
  • 1-2 tbsp sriracha

Keto Noodles Options

  • kelp noodles (needs to be soften) soak in baking soda & vinegar for 10 mins
  • shiratake noodles
  • zoodles

Protein Option

  • shredded chicken meat from the broth

Instructions

Chicken Pho Broth

  • Clean chicken well with hot water and scrub with salt to remove any unwanted debris. When the water runs clear, your chicken is ready to go.
  • Fill the inner pot with hot water 3/4 of the way with the washed chicken. Press saute mode and allow the water to come to a boil.
  • Cut onions & ginger in half with the peels on. Char in the oven for about 10 minutes @400°F
  • Wash carrots and divide into 3-4 inch chunks
  • Toast the pho spices in a skillet for a few minutes. You don't need all the spices, but do the best that you can. Remove spices from heat and let it cool. Once it's cooled, put the loose spices in a spice bag or tea ball.
  • Place the carrots, charred onions & ginger and pho spices in the inner pot. Try to submerge all the ingredients.
  • Close lid & cook on high pressure for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of chicken.
  • Allow the broth to naturally release. In my 8 quart IP, it took about 40 minutes.
  • Remove everything from the broth. Discard the veggies and spices.
  • Shred the chicken when it's cool enough to touch. Reserve the bones for cook further in the broth.
  • Place the bones back in the broth. I used a steamer basket to make it easy to remove the bones after it's done cooking.
  • Add water to the max filled line.
  • Season the broth with 1-2 tbsp mushroom seasoning and 1-2 tbsp of fish sauce. Taste and adjust more if it's too bland.
  • Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 10 more minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release.

Pho Bowl Assembly

  • Blanch onions & bean sprouts in boiling water for 10-20 seconds
  • Layer the bowl with noodles, bean sprouts, onions, shredded chicken.
  • Make sure the broth is boiling before ladling it in your bowl.
  • Garnish with green onions, cilantro, squeeze of lemon juice & Sriracha.
  • Enjoy while hot and steamy. It's okay to slurp and drink all the broth!

Video

Notes

  • Pho spice packets can be purchased at some Asian grocery stores for your convenience
  • You don't have to have all the spices listed, it's okay to use what you got. If you're desperate, you can use bay leaf, but it probably won't have the authentic pho flavor.
  • You can put in as much or as little garnish/toppings as you like, you're the boss of your chicken pho!
  • You can also use regular pho noodles if you're not adhering to the low carb keto lifestyle.

Keto Chicken Fajita

Chicken fajitas are super easy to make and oh so satisfying. I love that it comes with colorful veggies. It’s also really easy to customize and make keto friendly. You can wrap it up in homemade keto tortillas, store bought flaxseed lavash bread or turmeric coconut wrap

No low-carb wraps, no problem! Just eat it by itself or over a nice green salad. Make it your way and keep it interesting with different topping. I love toppings avocados, shredded cheese and sour cream. 

My ketofied chicken fajita was inspired by Cafe Delites’ Best Chicken Fajitas recipe. I love it because she only used 5 ingredients for the chicken fajita marinade. I cut my chicken thighs into bite sizes pieces to expedite the cooking process. 

Make this easy chicken recipe and have dinner ready within 30 minutes. It’ll be a big hit with the family. The chicken marinade is made with clean ingredients that are already in your pantry. 

This is totally optional, but I added Bae Blend’s #tacotuesday seasoning.  Bae Blend’s is made with wholesome ingredients and takes your food to the next level! 

Here’s the description of #tacotuesday: 

This squeaky clean taco seasoning is the perfect mix of flavorful spices with just the right kick to make every day Taco Tuesday. Add to beef, pork, chicken, or seafood.

Ingredients: Ancho peppers, onion, kosher salt, garlic, pepper, paprika, other herbs and spices (including chipotle pepper and cayenne), and citric acid.

Chicken Fajita

This chicken fajita is easy peasy and takes about 30 minutes to come together. So versatile and great for leftovers the next day.
Author: MaiTai

Equipment

  • Stove
  • Large Skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken thigh boneless & skinless, cut into bite size or strips
  • 3 whole bell peppers cut into strips
  • 1 whole onion thinly sliced

Chicken Marinade

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Bae Blend #tacotuesday optional

Toppings

  • avocado sliced or cubed
  • full fat sour cream
  • cilantro
  • shredded cheese

Instructions

  • Combine and mix lemon juice, oil, garlic, cumin, salt, chili powder & cilantro in a bowl. Add chicken thighs and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat a large skillet on medium high heat and add fat of choice. Cook chicken for 7 to 10 minutes until there's no more pink in the center. Remove chicken and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Add 1 tbsp oil and saute peppers & onions to the same skillet. It should be done in about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Serve with low carb tortillas, flaxseed lavash bread, or coconut wrap. Top with chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream, and cubed avocados.

Video

Notes

 
You can eat chicken over a salad if you don't have low carb wraps on hand. 

Keto Caramel Sauce For Savory Dishes

If I had a choice between food that is caramelized versus the non-caramelized version, 100% of the time, I would choose the gorgeous golden brown version. What exactly is caramelization? It is the process of turning sugar into caramel when it’s exposed to heat. Think of the burnt sugar on top of creme brulee or the sweet caramelized onions on a burger. The Spruce Eats has a great blog post on the science of caramelization and how it all works. For me, all I know is that it taste good and looks beautiful. 

Perfect caramelization with allulose sweetener.

Sweeteners can be a tricky thing to navigate as you transition from the sweet sugar life to the sugar-free life. There are so many sugar substitutes out there and you can easily get confused by all the choices. Keto Connect did an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of all the available sugar alternatives on the market today. They classified them into 3 categories – Artificial, Natural, and Sugar Alcohols. I recommend reading their post to understand the complexities among all the sweeteners so that you can make an informed decision. 

I’ve tried a few brands and below are my favorite sweeteners. I like them because they don’t have a weird aftertaste and taste like sugar. 

Monkfruit sweetener that taste like brown sugar.
Lakanto monkfruit sweetener taste like brown sugar.
Swerve is great for cooking and has no aftertaste.
Granular allulose by Anthony's brand
Allulose is perfect for caramelization.

Allulose is the only sweetener that caramelizes like sugar without crystallizing or getting lumpy. The caramelization process is the same as using sugar. In fact, it’s easier and only takes about 5 minutes from start to finish. Allulose.org will answer all the questions that you may have about allulose.

Allulose

It is surprisingly easy to make caramel sauce with allulose. The whole process takes about 5 minutes. Just be careful that you don’t burn the sauce because it will be bitter and you’ll have to start over. 

Now that you’ve mastered making caramel sauce, make my Keto Caramelized Ginger Chicken. 

Allulose starts out as a solid in white granular form
After few minutes, it liquifies & changes color
Within 5 minutes, it turns a perfect golden brown color
Perfectly golden brown allulose sugar free caramel sauce oozes off spatula
Print Recipe
4.41 from 5 votes

Keto Caramel Sauce w/Allulose Sweetener

Turn your savory dishes into something spectacular with this low carb sugar-free caramel sauce.
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: allulose, caramel sauce
Author: MaiTai

Equipment

  • skillet

Ingredients

  • ¼-½ cup allulose

Instructions

Cooking Direction

  • Heat skillet on medium high heat until hot.
  • Add in allulose and wait for it to turn into liquid form.
  • Swirl the sauce around in the skillet.
  • The sauce will gradually turn from white to a golden brown color in about 5 minutes.
  • Please watch it carefully and remove from heat when it reaches the desired caramel color.

Storage

  • Store in a glass container.
  • It will turn into a solid at room temperature after it cools down. In order to turn it back into a sauce, just microwave for about 50 seconds.
  • It can be kept on the counter in a air tight container for a few weeks.

Video

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Keto Caramelized Ginger Chicken

Are you looking to jazz up your basic chicken recipe?

Well look no further, I have the perfect recipe for you. Braised ginger chicken or “gà kho gưng” is a popular comfort food for many Vietnamese families. It’s usually served with white rice and simple blanched vegetable like water spinach or sliced cucumbers.

For the chicken, it’s best to use dark meat like thighs or drumstick for maximum flavor. You can use boneless or bone-in with or without skin. Personally, I like it with bones and skin. Just make sure to cut it into bite size pieces. I was able to find drumsticks that was already chopped, so it definitely cut back on the prep time. 

Chicken drumsticks that are precut saves on prep time.
Seven ingredients goes into making caramelized ginger chicken.

After making the caramel sauce, the rest is pretty easy. This dish can be prepared in about 30 minutes from start to finish. 

One skillet to make the caramel sauce and cook the chicken
Serve with keto rice and stir fry veggies
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Keto Caramelized Ginger Chicken

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Cuisine: Vietnamese

Ingredients

Caramel Sauce

  • 1/4 cup allulose sweetener

Ginger Chicken

  • 1-2 pounds chicken thighs cut into small chunks
  • 1-2 tsp caramel sauce
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1/2 ginger sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp mushroom seasoning
  • 1-2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 can of coconut sparkling water
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Keto Caramel Sauce:
    Preheat skillet on medium high heat. Add in allulose when pan is hot. Allow the sugar to dissolve and swirl it around the pan. The color should gradually change from white to a nice golden brown color. This should take approximately 5 minutes. Remove from pan into a glass container.
  • Heat up a skillet and add in fat of choice. Once hot, add in the chicken.
  • Saute for a few minutes until all visible pink is gone.
  • Add in caramel sauce and mix with chicken.
  • Push chicken to one side, add in shallots and ginger. Saute for a minute.
  • Flavor the chicken with mushroom seasoning & fish sauce.
  • Add in sparkling water. More caramel sauce if it's looking too pale.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning (more fish sauce or more sparkling water).
  • Turn heat to low and allow chicken to simmer with the lid on.
  • Flavor should be infused and ready to be eaten in about 15-20 minutes of cooking.

Video

Notes

Caramel sauce will become hard and solid once it's cold. Just pop it in the microwave for 30-50 seconds to turn it back into liquid.
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