Comfort food means something different to everyone but one thing’s for certain – it’s usually a carbfest ready and waiting with open arms. Most of my life that comfort came from some variety of mac & cheese. For my husband, peanut butter and honey sandwiches or toast with Bovril are the best remedy for, well, everything.
Whether you’re ready to devour a few pot pies by yourself or become one with the enveloping hug of piping hot chili, you don’t have to sacrifice the things you love about these foods in order to stay low carb or in ketosis. Low Carb versions of comfort food exist in just about every form you can imagine.
With temps diving down below freezing by Friday, it’s game time for comfort food here. In my house, it needs to be delicious AND fairly quick to make (or else my toddler won’t even try it). Here’s a modest collection of the dishes we’ve made to satisfy these seasonal carby cravings…
On the menu:
This is such an easy and tasty alternative to fried chicken or breaded tenders/nuggets.
To make them, just thoroughly coat the tenders in a variety of spices like paprika, garlic, pepper, and salt. Then toss them in a lightly oiled, blazing hot skillet to develop that nice crust. Flip once, cook until no longer pink in the center. Dip in a sugar free condiment or whip up a buttery garlic sauce. Personally, I like to dip mine in some low carb mac n cheese. We’re trying the Great Low Carb Bread Co.’s elbow pasta in the pics above. Not bad, especially smothered in a creamy cheese sauce.
Low Carb Fried Chicken
Much crunch! Instead of flour or other high carb breading, we use a combo of crushed pork rinds (or almond flour) and parmesan, along with some spices like paprika or an Italian seasoning blend. Dredge in egg and coat well before frying or baking. Om nom nom.
Cauliflower “Mac” & Cheese Casserole
The secret? Roast the cauliflower with bacon first – this adds an amazing depth of flavor, and of course bacon makes everything taste better. These photos are from our annual Christmas Eve meal when we make it super fancy with halved cherry tomatoes and chopped spinach. Topped with crushed pork rinds for a nice crispy crust. Inspired by our favorite baked keto mac and cheese recipe over at Keto Connect, check it out.
Low Carb Cottage Pie
Who said tasty food had to look beautiful? Some of the tastiest food I’ve ever eaten, even high carb foods, have been bowls full of what could only be described as chaos and disaster. And so it goes for our recent attempt at a keto friendly Cottage Pie. Never heard of it? It’s a British meat pie casserole, tasty beef topped with mashed potatoes and baked until the top is crispy. Very similar to Shepherd’s Pie (lamb), but my somewhat British husband prefers the beefy version.
Traditionally, this recipe calls for onions, carrots, and potatoes, which are all fairly high in carbs and in serious need of some tweaking to accommodate a lower carb diet:
- We subbed out the onions for green onions – these really pack a punch so you can use *considerably* less without losing any flavor.
- We omitted the carrots altogether but adding 1 chopped or shaved won’t increase each serving’s carb count by too much and would make for a nice pop of color, along with a bit of sweetness.
- And for the big one – we substituted potatoes for mashed cauliflower (roasted with garlic then cooked with sour cream + butter, then blended with a bit of chicken stock).
It was happily devoured by all except my toddler, who’s currently protesting pretty much all foods that aren’t bananas, waffles, or yogurt. So we’ll take his opinion with a grain of salt…
Speaking of comfort food, be on the lookout for posts on low carb bread ideas and pasta options coming soon!