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Spring into Keto

By Chef Michael Gjenvick

This is one of my favorite times of the year for inspiration in the kitchen. Spring vegetables finally are becoming abundant in the farmer’s market and grocery stores with ingredients like asparagus, strawberries, peas, pungent onions, and baby lamb. We move further away from heavy stews and roasted root vegetables and into raw salads, egg dishes, and general lighter fare. The smell of the flowers, the buzz of the bees, and the faint chirping of birds out my kitchen window makes me want to prepare some beautiful spring dishes to enjoy dining outside.

  • Tuesday Breakfast: MAKE Poached Eggs with Smoked Salmon
  • Tuesday Lunch: MAKE Chicharrones Nachos
  • Tuesday Dinner: MAKE Grilled Cajun Shrimp with Quick Braised Greens
  • Wednesday Breakfast: MAKE Poached Eggs with Smoked Salmon
  • Wednesday Lunch: MAKE Chicharrones Nachos
  • Wednesday Dinner: Grilled Cajun Shrimp with Quick Braised Greens
  • Thursday Breakfast: MAKE Strawberry and Coconut Smoothie
  • Thursday Lunch: MAKE Chorizo, Leek, and Kale Frittata
  • Thursday Dinner: MAKE Pulled Pork with Asparagus
  • Friday Breakfast: Strawberry and Coconut Smoothie
  • Friday Lunch: Chorizo, Leek, and Kale Frittata
  • Friday Dinner: Pulled Pork with Asparagus
  • Saturday Breakfast: MAKE Eggs, Bacon, and Cheesy Spinach
  • Saturday Lunch: MAKE Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Saturday Dinner: MAKE Braised Lamb Shank Vindaloo with Cucumber Raita
  • Sunday Breakfast: MAKE Eggs, Bacon, and Cheesy Spinach
  • Sunday Lunch: Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Sunday Dinner: Braised Lamb Shank Vindaloo with Cucumber Raita

Getting Started:

  1. Browse the recipes and shopping list below. Decide what to substitute, shop for what you need.
  2. If tracking your macros, search for recipes in your Senza feed and pre-log to create a meal plan.
  3. Recruit family members to help with meal prep: chopping, mixing spices, browning meat – everyone can help!

 

Keto-Friendly Recipes

Poached Eggs with Smoked Salmon (Serves 1)

* This recipe is included twice in this week's meal plan. The shopping list below includes enough ingredients to make the recipe twice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 oz smoked salmon
  • 2 Tbsp scallion cream cheese
Optional: Serve with avocado, blanched asparagus, or small green salad.

    Directions: Bring a small pot of water to a low simmer. Add salt and white wine vinegar if you have it in your pantry. This will help flavor and cook the egg. Crack the eggs into the water and release from bottom of the pan with a spoon. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until egg is cooked to your liking. Remove and drain on a paper towel.

    To Plate: Curl smoked salmon in a bed on bottom of the plate. Add optional items in center. Top with eggs and a dollop of cream cheese. Crack black pepper over the top with a drizzle of olive oil.

     

    Chicharrones Nachos (Serves 1)

    * This recipe is included twice in this week's meal plan. The shopping list below includes enough ingredients to make the recipe twice.

    Ingredients:

    • 12 large chicharrones (fried pork rinds)
    • 1/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1/4 cup salsa
    • 1/4 cup pulled pork (see Pulled Pork with Asparagus recipe, below)
    • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
    Optional: Add any other classic nacho topping of your liking.

      Directions: Turn your oven on broil. Place chicharrones on a parchment lined baking sheet. Top with pork and cheese. Place in oven for 1 minute or until cheese is melted and bubbling.

      To Plate: Top with salsa, sour cream, scallions and any other toppings of your liking.

       

      Grilled Cajun Shrimp with Quick Braised Greens (Serves 1)

      Ingredients:

      • 6 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
      • 1 Tbsp cajun spice mix (cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, salt)
      • 1 slice bacon, diced
      • 1/4 small white onion
      • 1/2 bag of braising greens (spinach, baby kale, mustard greens, etc.)
      • 2 Tbsp butter
      • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

      Directions: Turn your grill on high. Place shrimp on a skewer and season aggressively with cajun spice blend. In a large sauté pan on medium-high heat, place half the butter with the bacon. Render out the fat and crisp up the bacon slightly. Add the onion and caramelize slightly, before adding the greens. Season with salt. Wilt greens and add vinegar. In the meantime, grill the shrimp 1-2 minutes on each side or until charred and cooked through. Melt remaining butter and brush over finished shrimp.

      To Plate: Place greens on center of plate with shrimp on top.

       

      Strawberry and Coconut Smoothie (Serves 2)

      Ingredients:

      • 10 medium strawberries, stems removed
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1 lime, zested and juiced
      • 1 can coconut milk
      • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds

      Directions: Place berries, vanilla, lime juice, and coconut milk in a blender and blend on high.

      To Plate: Pour smoothie in a large glass and top with lime zest and hemp seeds.

       

      Chorizo, Leek, and Kale Frittata (Serves 4)

      Ingredients:

      • 12 eggs
      • 1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
      • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced
      • 1 bunch kale, trimmed, thinly sliced
      • 2 oz manchego cheese, grated
      • 1 lb ground chorizo, broken into 1/2 inch balls
      • 1 Tbsp olive oil
      • 1/4 cup heavy cream

      Optional: Serve with a light green salad, garlic aioli, or cooked vegetables of your liking.

      Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat eggs with heavy cream. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside. Warm a large oven-proof sauté pan on medium heat. Add chorizo and sear on each side creating a crust. Remove chorizo with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate. Cook leek, garlic and kale in pan with oil rendered from chorizo. Once kale is wilted and leek is cooked, turn the heat off and add chorizo, egg mixture and cheese. Stir through and place pan in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the frittata.

      To Plate: Serve a slice of warm frittata with choice of low-carb side.

       

      Pulled Pork with Asparagus (Serves 2)

      Ingredients:

      • 2 lb pork shoulder (includes extra meat for Chicharrones Nachos recipe, above)
      • 1 cup chicken broth
      • 12 asparagus spears, woody stems removed
      • 1 Tbsp olive oil

      Optional: Season pork with any spice mix of your liking; serve with your favorite salsa or dressing and a green salad.

      Directions: Season pork shoulder with salt, black pepper and any mix of your liking. Place pork and broth in a large pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 3 hours, or until pork is tender and shreds easily with a fork. Adjust pan with more broth if needed during cooking. In a large sauté pan, warm olive oil over medium-high heat and add asparagus. Grill in pan until slightly charred, but still firm.

      To Plate: Place shredded pork over a green salad and asparagus, and top with your favorite salsa or dressing.

       

      Eggs, Bacon, and Cheesy Spinach (Serves 1)

      * This recipe is included twice in this week's meal plan. The shopping list below includes enough ingredients to make the recipe twice.

      Ingredients:

      • 2 eggs
      • 4 strips bacon
      • 1/2 bag spinach
      • 1 clove garlic, sliced
      • 1 Tbsp olive oil
      • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated

      Optional: Serve with salsa of your liking, avocado, or berries; add chili flakes or other spices to spinach while cooking.

      Directions: Warm a large sauté pan on medium heat and cook bacon, turning occasionally until crisped to your liking. Remove bacon. Fry eggs in the bacon fat to desired texture, and season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, warm a separate sauté pan over medium heat with olive oil and garlic. Once garlic aroma hits your nose, add spinach and wilt slightly.

      To Plate: Top spinach with cheese. Serve eggs and bacon on the side with additional toppings of your liking.

       

      Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing Serves 2

      Ingredients:

      • 2 NY Strip steaks, 6-oz each
      • 20 Castelvatrano olives, pitted
      • 20 blackberries
      • 1/2 avocado, diced
      • 8 cups mixed greens
      • 1/4 small white onion, thinly sliced
      • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
      • 4 Tbsp blue cheese dressing

      Optional: Add any other ingredients in the fridge to this salad; roasted veggies, pickles, or even grated cheese would make a nice addition to clear out items in your fridge.

      Directions: Turn grill on high. Season steak with salt and black pepper. Grill for 5 minutes each side or until desired doneness is achieved. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes. Place onions and vinegar in a large bowl and toss with a sprinkle of salt to quick-pickle the onion. Let sit for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, besides the steak to the bowl and toss well.

      To Plate: Slice the steak into bite-sized pieces and serve on top of the salad.

       

      Blue Cheese Dressing Serves 16

      Ingredients:

      • 4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
      • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (avocado-oil base)
      • 1/2 cup sour cream
      • 1/4 cup heavy cream
      • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
      • 2 Tbsp olive oil

      Optional: Add chives, paprika, and any other spices or your liking.

      Directions: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until creamy dressing is formed. Adjust with more lemon juice and olive oil to desired tartness and consistency. Season with salt and spices, if desired.

       

      Braised Lamb Shank Vindaloo with Cucumber Raita (Serves 2)

      Ingredients:

      • 2 large lamb shanks, bone-in (approx. 1 lb each) 
      • 1/2 white onion
      • 1 small carrot
      • 1 stalk celery
      • 1 jalapeño
      • 2 cloves garlic
      • 10 sprigs parsley
      • 10 sprigs cilantro
      • 1 Tbsp olive oil
      • 1 Tbsp bacon fat
      • 1 can crushed tomatoes, 15-oz
      • 1-2 Tbsp curry powder (turmeric, cumin, cayenne, chili powder)
      • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
      • 1/4 cup sour cream
      • 1/4 cup full-fat yogurt
      • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

      Optional: Add any dry or fresh herb to the cucumber; add a splash of wine to pot with tomatoes. 

      Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In a food processor, add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, jalapeño, parsley, and cilantro. Puree until a smooth paste is formed, pushing the sides down with a spatula periodically. Reserve.

      Warm a heavy duty pot on medium-high heat and add bacon fat. Season lamb with salt, and sear in pot until golden brown all over. Take your time with this step. Remove lamb. Add paste of vegetables with olive oil and sweat until softened slightly, approximately 15 minutes. Add curry powder to taste, 1-2 Tbsp should do it. Add tomatoes and wine, if using. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add lamb back to pot and cover with water. Cover pot with lid and place in the oven for 4 hours or until lamb is tender and falls off the bone.

      In the meantime, toss cucumber with sour cream, yogurt, vinegar, salt, and any herbs of your liking. A touch of cumin or curry powder can be a nice addition. Reserve cucumber raita to the side in the fridge.

      To Plate: Shred lamb into bite size chunks, remove bone, and toss lamb with cooking liquid which is now reduced to a sauce. Serve lamb vindaloo curry with raita on the side as a refreshing salad to go with the spicy lamb.

       

      Keto in Place Shopping List

      Protein:

      • 4 oz smoked salmon
      • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
      • 20 eggs
      • 1 lb ground chorizo
      • 2 lb pork shoulder
      • 10 strips bacon
      • 2 portions NY Strip steak, 6-oz each
      • 2 large lamb shanks, bone-in (approx. 1 lb each)
      • 1 Tbsp bacon fat

      Dairy:

      • 4 Tbsp scallion cream cheese
      • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
      • 1 stick butter
      • 2 oz manchego cheese
      • 4 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
      • 1 small container sour cream
      • 1 small container full-fat yogurt
      • 4 oz blue cheese
      • 1 small jar mayonnaise (avocado-oil base)
      • 1 pint heavy cream 

       

      Produce:
      • 1 English cucumber
      • 1 bunch cilantro
      • 1 bunch parsley
      • 1 head garlic
      • 1 jalapeno
      • 1 bunch celery
      • 1 carrot
      • 1 white onion
      • 1 lemon
      • 4 cups mixed greens
      • 1 pint blackberries
      • 1 pint strawberries
      • 1 avocado
      • 1 pint Castelvatrano olives
      • 1 large bag spinach
      • 12 asparagus spears
      • 4 scallions
      • 1 bag of braising greens (spinach, baby kale, mustard greens, etc.)
      • 1 lime
      • 1 bunch kale
      • 1 large leek

       Pantry:

      • 1 bottle white wine vinegar
      • 1 bottle apple cider vinegar
      • 1 can crushed tomatoes, 15-oz
      • 1 bottle olive oil
      • 1 bag chicharrones
      • 1 container salsa
      • 1 quart chicken broth
      • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
      • 2 tsp vanilla extract
      • 2 cans coconut milk, 13-oz each

      Spices:

      • Sea salt
      • Black pepper
      • Curry powder (turmeric, cumin, cayenne, chili powder)
      • Cajun spice (cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, salt)

       

      Learn more about Chef Michael

      Find more recipes in the Keto-in-Place meal plan series: