The keto diet has become all the rage lately.
Touted for its many health benefits and ability to improve, and potentially reverse, many chronic diseases, the ketogenic diet isn’t just another fad and has actually been around for a long time!
But the truth is, when people think of keto, they often think about living off butter and meat, which isn’t the case at all.
Keto can be as complicated or as simple as you want.
There are a variety of fat sources, protein sources, and non-starchy carb sources that can be combined to make a simple yet completely delicious meal.
Tip: If you’re looking to save time, try batch cooking your food!
Cooking up vegetables and proteins for the week that you can mix and match with different sauces or dressings is a great way to save yourself from having to cook everyday.
Alternatively, meal prep on Sunday so you have a few days of food prepped and ready to grab while running out the door.
Need some inspiration?
Here are 7 delicious and simple lunch ideas that won’t break the bank!
- Superfood Meatballs
- Keto Style Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Lettuce Wraps
- Stuffed Avocado
- Steak Or Chicken Fajitas
#1 Superfood Meatballs
Meatballs are an easy way to get a nutritional bang for your buck.
They can be packed full of virtually any ingredients you want and can also be modified to suit your flavour preferences.
One of the great things with meatballs is the ability to blend in a variety of meats also, for example chicken livers, a nutritional powerhouse.
But before you give liver a bad rep, you must try these chicken liver and beef meatballs.
They’re delicious and we’ll tell you that you won’t even know the liver is in there.
Meanwhile, you’ll be reaping all the benefits that it has to offer:
- Boosts the immune system
- Enhances fertility (rich in folate)
- Rich in iron and B vitamins
- Promotes eye health (good source of vitamin A)
How do you add it in?
Take your favourite meatball recipe and add in some chopped liver.
To reduce the bitter and irony taste of the meat, try soaking it in a bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar for half an hour before mixing in with the ground meat.
Feel free to use any combination of protein — beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey — whatever suits your fancy.
#2 Keto-Style Mexican Stuffed Peppers
Everyone loves a good classic Mexican dish, but most aren’t keto-compliant because they’re full of rice, beans, or high carb tortillas.
To keep it low carb, swap the rice for cauliflower, the tortillas for peppers, and you’ve got yourself a flavour-packed, nutrient dense keto meal.
You can use any combination of meats and veggies you’d like, as well as spices.
Chili pepper, cayenne, cumin, coriander, oregano — the options are virtually endless.
Throwing in some fresh herbs is also a great way to increase the nutrient density of a meal.
For Mexican, try these Beberé enchilada style stuffed peppers.
They’re easy, quick, delicious, and a great make-ahead.
#3 Cauliflower Fried Rice
Fried rice is a staple in many Asian cuisines, but as delicious as it is, it’s not keto.
However, by swapping out the rice for cauliflower rice, you can keep all the flavour without piling up the carbs.
The great thing about cauliflower fried rice is, it’s suitable for both vegetarians and meat-eaters.
Keep it simple with just egg and vegetables, or throw in a protein of your choice (shrimp, chicken, beef, pork) to increase the density.
Check out this great recipe here!
#4 Lettuce Wraps
Lettuce wraps are incredibly versatile.
Whether it’s a burger, chicken, shrimp, or just veggies, there are unlimited options for what a lettuce wrap can hold.
Here are a few great keto ideas:
- Burger (choice of protein) with desired toppings (cheese, mayo/aioli, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, etc.)
- No-bread turkey club (ensure that if using ‘deli’ style turkey, it’s naturally raised without antibiotics and nitrates)
- Chicken or tuna salad wraps
For the most part, anything that is made as a sandwich can be substituted for lettuce to make a low-carb version.
Note: Always be aware of your condiments, as many contain added sugars and therefore carbs.
#5 Stuffed Avocados
Whether raw or baked, stuffed avocados are a super simple and delicious lunch option.
If you’re needing something on the go, salad stuffed avocados are fantastic.
Add together a little bit of mayo with tuna, salmon, or egg, throw in some green onions, salt, and pepper, pack it into the centre of the avocado (pit removed), and you’ve got a high fat, high protein meal to keep you full throughout the day.
Alternatively, what about a BLT stuffed avocado? A new take on an old favourite.
If you have an oven available to you, why not give avocado baked eggs a try?
Remove the pit and scoop out a bit of the flesh from around the pit, crack an egg into the centre, and pop into a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until the whites are firm and yolks are cooked to your preference.
Looking for a little more?
Try adding a simple salad on the side to increase your fibre and greens intake for the day.
#6 Steak or Chicken Fajitas
Fajitas are another Mexican staple that is both delicious and generally not keto — but it can be!
Choose your protein (chicken, shrimp, beef, or vegetable) and cook up with some spices (chili, coriander, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper), sauté peppers and onions, and eat on their own or wrap in a lettuce or chard wrap.
To up the fat content, add some guacamole and cheese, if tolerable.
If you’re looking for a real time saver, this keto sheet pan steak fajitas are a great option.
Super simple and they can even be paired with a cilantro-lime coleslaw to up the flavour even more.
Keto lunches don’t always have to be based off of recipes.
Sometimes, just combining a bunch of your favourite foods is a great and super simple way to eat.
Avocado, leftover roasted vegetables, nuts and seeds, olives, leftover chicken or beef, hard-boiled eggs, cheese — any combination of proteins and fats will do the trick.
Eating keto doesn’t have to be as difficult as some people make it out to seem — it’s all about being prepared.
If you’re stumped for ideas, think about your favourite foods to eat and how you can make them keto compliant.
With all of the foods available in the supermarket, there are bound to be low-carb substitutes for your favourite carby foods.