Every family has one, that person who goes all in on whatever the latest and greatest diet is. The keto diet seems to be having its moment now and so the odds are good that you’ve got someone in your circle who is eschewing most carbs and loading up on their proteins and fats.
And, if you’re a supportive and hospitable family member or friend, you’re going to need to do what you can to include keto-approved recipes the next time you host a get-together. So, whether you’re roasting a turkey, grilling steaks, or putting some shrimp on the barbie, here’s some inspiration for some keto side dishes to accompany your main dish.
Much loved for its health benefits and neutral taste, dieters have found seemingly endless ways to substitute cauliflower into otherwise off-limits dishes. Cauliflower “rice”, cauliflower “mac and cheese” and cauliflower “mashed potatoes” are just a few examples of the flexibility of the humble cauliflower. And, yes, it is keto-approved. So, the next time you find yourself preparing dinner for a keto devotee, simply think of what carb side dish you’d typically serve with your main dish and substitute in cauliflower for the starch ingredient. You’ll find no shortage of recipes online that will guide you!
Another uber-versatile and keto-friendly vegetable, zucchini lends itself to a ton of tasty keto side dishes. Often substituted in Italian recipes, zucchinis can be transformed into noodles (“zoodles”), lasagna sheets, fritters, just to name a few. Buy a spiralizer and turn a few zucchinis into a pile of zoodles to serve with meatballs and marinara sauce for a hearty and satisfying meal.
Pasta, potato and fruit salads are of course off-limits, but there are still several options for keto-friendly salads as side dishes. All kinds of lettuce, spinach and cabbage are fine, plus most veggies – think cucumbers, mushrooms, and peppers.
Toppings like avocado, nuts, cheeses and cured meats are also totally A-ok for keto followers.
For example, the classic Caesar salad lends itself well to keto adaptations, since romaine, mayo, bacon and anchovies are ketogenic. Just remember to hold the croutons.
4. Brussel sprouts
If you are one of the few people who haven’t tried the sublime combination of Brussel sprouts and bacon, you are missing out! Google “Brussel sprouts and bacon” and you’ll see pages and pages of different recipes featuring these two magical ingredients, most of which will be keto-approved.
Some people love them, and some people hate them, but they are totally edible on the keto diet. Sautéed mushrooms with garlic work well as a keto side dish with Asian-inspired meals or serve mushrooms in a cream sauce alongside a delicious steak. Or, you can stuff mushrooms with cheese, chives and bacon for an “I can’t believe this is on the diet” treat.
Sure, soups are more often served as starters but why not serve a hearty vegetable soup as an accompaniment to your main dish? Most soups are keto-friendly without even trying to be, so if you have a favorite soup recipe you like to make for company, check the ingredients. It may just work as is!
The next time you find yourself hosting a meal for a friend or family member following the keto diet, don’t despair! With some minor tweaks, many of the side dishes you already make can become keto-approved.