My Favorite Keto-Friendly Dinner
I'm in no way a medical professional or nutritionist. These are all opinions of my own.
I always struggled with my body image. What woman hasn't? We're forced perfect images down our throat from a very young age. I was never fat by any means, maybe just a bit undertoned and out of shape. It wasn't until I finished my first year of college that I realized something needed to change.
I went to the doctor and stepped on the scale. It was almost 140 pounds. I'm 5'2". This was a wake up call for me. I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life and I was not happy with how I looked. I started researching different diets and tried to change my lifestyle. I actually did for a time. I started working out according to a system, I monitored my portions and ate for sustenance and not for fun (which was super hard, by the way), but I still wasn't losing weight.
When I moved in with my boyfriend and our friend Zach, I was introduced to the ketogenic (keto) diet. It is a high amount of fat and protein, and a low amount of carbs. Our bodies run off of carbohydrates for energy. If you cut off the body's main source of energy, you will start to run off of fat for energy. Makes enough sense, right? I started doing it and immediately started seeing results. It was hard to get over my addiction to sugar (we all have it) and pasta, but once you're consciously choosing what foods you eat for energy, you start to make better decisions.
I'm what one might call a "cheat-ogenic". I know how the diet works, I know what's okay and not okay to eat, but I'm only human. I will eat some rice every now and then. I'll have some pita bread with my hummus and dips every so often, etc. I'm only human! I'm not perfect! Also, I'm not a body builder or competitive fitness person. My body responds really well to this diet. I've become stronger, thinner, and more confident thanks to it. So now I would love to share with you my favorite dinner recipe that I have down to a science: zucchini enchiladas!
You know that funny meme that's like, "Welcome to adulthood. Zucchini and cauliflower have replaced all the food you love." Well, it's true. I ate so much zucchini at the beginning of this diet that it's honestly hard to eat it now hahaha. But! Zucchini is SO TASTY and SO GOOD for you! In this recipe, the zucchini will act as your tortillas for the enchiladas.
For this recipe, you'll need:
- 2 or 3 large zucchinis
- Protein you wish to stuff in your enchiladas (I use chicken or 80/20 ground beef usually!)
- Mexican spices (chili powder, cumin, onion salt, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and pepper--I don't have measurements because I do it to taste! Sorry!)
- Mexican blend shredded cheese
- Trader Joe's Enchilada Sauce
Which brings me to step 1!
Slice Your Zuc'
I was really bad at this the first time I tried hahaha. You probably will be too, but it's okay! You'll get the hang of it!
I have the best luck slicing the zucchini long ways, then using a peeler to get little strips. Once you have a solid stack of zucchini, you're ready to start assembling!
Assemble the Enchiladas
This can be a little complicated. If you have a large baking dish, use that. I start off by spraying the dish with coconut oil or olive oil (not too much!) and laying out 3 zucchinis long ways, side-by-side. You should have an oval-shaped Zucchini slice bed out of the 3 slices.
From here, I pour about a tablespoon of the enchilada sauce, sprinkle some shredded cheese, then add a spoonful of protein. If I'm feeling wild I'll even give another splash of sauce for good measure. The sauce luckily is pretty keto-friendly. But if you are counting macros, you need to pay attention to how much you use! Once you have your enchiladas filled, you can strategically roll them up while keeping them in tact. Don't be upset if they kinda fall apart. Again, you'll get the hang of it!
When you have your enchiladas assembled, pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce over the stuffed zucchinis and cover with cheese! If you have leftover protein you can also throw that on top, and the meal becomes a zucchini enchilada "bake".
Your oven should be preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (oops, probably should have mentioned that before). Throw in the enchiladas for 20 minutes (check at 15).
Your keto enchiladas are done! The most time is spent on prep, honestly. Assembling them is the most time-consuming and annoying haha. I usually throw on music and get in my zone.