In-N-Out Salad

In-N-Out Salad

No matter how healthy you eat on a daily basis.... When you live in California, you eat at In-N-Out on occasion! For those of you not "in the know", there is a process to ordering your meal at In-N-Out.  The menu has 3 options: Hamburger, Cheeseburger and Double-Double (2 patties), Aside from fries and fountain drinks, that's all that is posted on the menu.  BUT... there is a "secret" menu and specific terminology when it comes time to order.  Two of the most popular are "animal style" (includes grilled chopped onions, pickles and mustard) and "protein style" (a burger without the bun and wrapped in an iceberg lettuce leaf instead).  

Lots of people who eat low carb diets order "protein style" and it is not at all uncommon to see people eating burgers with a lettuce instead of a bun.  In-N-Out also has a "spread" that is very similar to Thousand Island salad dressing... the spread and "protein style" gave me the idea to calculate a salad using the same ingredients and flavors.  For older kids and adults, a small hamburger patty wrapped in lettuce would be a great option to bring with you.  On average, a hamburger patty at In-N-Out weigh about 30g, a lettuce wrap in place of the bun weighs about 65g (I have gotten as little as 30g and needed to ask for more) and 2 slices of tomato is about 30-40g.  Here are links tot he main In-N-Out Burger website, the nutrition information (some of you may be able to actually order right off the menu!) and a link to a post detailing the "secret menu"  (make sure you click the slide show) because there are even more options than what they tell you on the In-N-Out website!

Makes 1 serving

3:1 ratio

298 calories

7.79g protein

1.81g carbohydrate

In-N-Out Salad

 

Ingredients

70g iceberg lettuce

25g 85% ground beef, cooked (I roll tiny meatballs and pan fry them.  I store them in the freezer)

10g dill pickles, Bubbies brand

20g mayonnaise, Hellmann's

9g coconut oil (I think they add sweetener to the "spread". The coconut oil adds a little sweet flavor instead of using an oil like olive.  But, use whatever you would like!)

5g tomato puree, canned (you could use sugar-free ketchup as well)

5g dill relish, Bubbies brand

salt/pepper

Directions

Chop or shred the lettuce.  Top with the meat and pickles.

Mix the mayonnaise, coconut oil, relish and tomato puree together to make the dressing.  Season with salt and pepper.  Toss the dressing with the salad and enjoy! (Ask for a free water while you're at it!)

Notes

You could add tomatoes or chopped hot chilies if you would like.

The dressing can hold more oil if needed to increase the ratio.

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Cooking Chicken

Cooking Chicken

Having pre-prepped ingredients stored in the freezer is a major time and sanity saver! This is a great way to cook chicken so the flavor and texture after thawing do not taste like leftovers.  By cooking chicken using this method, it will remain soft, you can avoid using added fat during the cooking process, it will not dry out, and once frozen, it is ready to pull out of the freezer one piece at a time.  It is also ready to process further for other recipes that require shredded or pureed chicken.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Boneless, skinless chicken breast, a clean knife and plastic cutting board.   Fill a pot with enough water to cover the amount of chicken you have. Put the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil.

Raw Chicken Package

Step 2: Slice the Chicken

I slice the chicken into small bite size pieces. The are wider than they are thick, about 0.5 - 1 inch in size. I choose to wear disposable gloves when handling raw meat, it is a great way to help prevent cross contamination with other ingredients.

Cut Chicken

Step 3: Cook the Chicken

Once the water has boiled, put all of the sliced chicken into the water and stir to prevent the pieces of meat from clumping to each other. For the size pieces that I cut, 60 SECONDS is all it takes to cook. The water will not come back to a boil after adding the chicken.  Before removing all of the chicken, check a larger piece to see if it is cooked through. The internal temperature of the meat should be 165 degrees and no longer look pink.  I use a strainer to scoop it out into a clean bowl.

If you would like to freeze the chicken, cover the cooked bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to cool completely in the refrigerator. I use gallon size zip top bags and lay them flat on a freezer shelf, making sure the chicken pieces inside are relatively spread apart.  Once they are frozen, shake the bag to break them apart and squeeze the air from the bag.  They will thaw in only a few minutes when I need them.

Chicken in pot

Step 4: Shredding

For recipes like chicken salad or chicken nuggets, I use shredded chicken. To shred the chicken,  use a standard food processor.  Just put the warm chicken into the processor and pulse it a few times.  That's it!

shredded chicken

Step 5: Pureeing

Once you have shredded the chicken, you can move onto pureeing.  After it reaches the shredded state, just keep the food processor running. It will take about about 5 minutes total.  The chicken will never turn into a puree, it will begin to look very dry and clump together.  Once you start to see it clumping together, it is ready.  Take a piece out and rub it between your fingers. It should be very fine, with no large pieces interspersed.  DO NOT add any water while pureeing! The water will add weight to the chicken and when added to a ketogenic meal, you will end up with less chicken than you should.  It is best to puree while the chicken in still warm. Once it has cooled, it never seems to get a fine of a texture. Once the chicken is blended with other ingredients such as cooked vegetables and fat, it will thin in consistency from the added moisture from other ingredients. At this point, you have cooked, pureed chicken breast that is ready to be added to a keto recipe or freeze!

ground chicken

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Decorating "Sanding Sugar"

Decorating "Sanding Sugar"

Did you know... you can color Truvia?  The result is nearly identical to traditional Sanding Sugars.   I have never seen any "sugar-free", "carb free" sprinkles so this DIY version seems to be the only option!

All you do is add 1 (one) drop of food coloring to 1 tablespoon of Truvia and mix it around with a fork or small whisk until it is completely combined.  You can even use your fingers to break up the small clumps and distribute the color evenly. It is ready to use immediately or can be stores in a sealed container for future use.  I used traditional food colorings and natural food coloring (India Tree) in the pictures, there was no difference in the quality of the colors.  Some keto centers do not allow artificial food coloring, so ask about using a natural version.  (I personally would recommend the natural colors over the artificial anyway).  The India Tree colors are vegetable based food colorings and should be accounted for in ketogenic recipes.

One tablespoon of the colored Truvia is enough to decorate an entire batch of cupcakes or cookies.  You only need a tiny pinch to put on the top of each to make a VERY happy keto kid.  You should calculate Truvia into a meal plan if needed.

A few notes...

Truvia contains Erythritol which is a sugar alcohol... some people are very sensitive to sugar alcohols on the diet. Do not use Truvia if you are told to avoid sugar alcohols!

You can also color powdered Splenda!  It is not as "crystal-like", more of a powdery look to it, but I think it would work just as well.  You can see the comparison of Truvia and Splenda in this picture (Truvia on the bottom, Splenda on the top). I have not tried baking with this, so I'm not sure if it would last...


Like regular sanding sugars, the sprinkles will melt into very wet icing.  It sits on top of ketogenic buttercream icing wonderfully, however it will melt into whipped cream pretty quickly, so put the sprinkles on at the last-minute before serving.

Read more about Truvia from their site, click here

Don't go crazy with this, save it for really special occasions!  I hope this helps make keto birthdays and holidays a little more special.

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