Vegetarian Keto Recipes
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When you think keto, you probably conjure up images of chicken or steak covered in cheese. But what about vegetarians? Can they thrive on a keto diet?
A keto diet has been proven to help you lose weight. The ketosis process is triggered, amazingly, by a diet high in fat and protein, and very low in carbohydrates.
When the body does not have a ready supply of glucose in the blood from carbs, it goes into ketosis, whereby fat stores in the body are used for energy. This means burning fat from the body, without lifting a finger.
Counter-intuitively, the more fat you eat, the more you burn. As long as there are not a lot of carbs for your body to run on.
Ketosis is actually a way of tricking your body into “thinking” that it is starving. Then your body will dig into the body’s fat stores for the calories to run all your physiological and metabolic processes.
Because of the high levels of fat in the ketogenic diet, it sometimes gets a bad rap in terms of perceptions of its nutritional makeup. Images of cheese melted on buttered bacon give the impression that a keto diet is, by necessity, an unhealthy lifestyle.
A vegetarian would not even dream of trying this diet. Without fatty meats, what would be the basis of the diet?
Well, the fact is, that there are plenty of delicious vegetarian options for a keto diet. As long as you follow the principles, you can find ways to keep your vegetarian diet within the bounds of ketosis weight loss.
The largest portion of your calories should be coming from fat, but who says that has to be bacon? There are many “healthy” vegetable-based or dairy vegetarian sources of fat that you can use.
Just some examples are avocado, coconut oil, coconut cream, ghee, goat milk products, olives, nuts, cheeses, nut cheeses and butter, and more. The next largest food group in the keto diet, after fats, are proteins.
Many of the fats listed above also have proteins and can be used in your diet. The smallest portion of your keto diet is carbs.
Carbs turn into glucose when digested, so those “sugars” will interrupt the ketosis process if you eat too many of them. So these foods are strictly limited.
It’s not hard to find vegetarian sources of carbs. Indeed, most carbs are vegetarian. If healthy eating is important to you, you can use small amounts of sweet potato, quinoa, or other whole grains to get your recommended daily intake of carbs.
But there is a whole other aspect to the keto diet that gets less attention, and that is vegetables. Most vegetables, as long as they are not overly sweet and starchy (for example potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots) are permitted on the keto diet.
So if you are a vegetarian, you can fill out your meals with loads of fresh vegetables. You can make them extra delicious with the addition of tasty fats like oil-based salad dressings, stews cooked in coconut cream, melted cheese, and butter.
Vegetables can be a great source of nutrition in any keto diet, but especially for vegetarians. Here is a list of some of the permitted vegetables in the ketogenic diet.
The wide variety of delicious vegetables, paired with delicious vegetarian fat sources, means that a ketogenic vegetarian diet can be delicious and nutritious.
Related Article: Cauliflower Rice Keto Recipes
- Brussels sprouts
- Green Beans
- Peppers (red and green)
- Swiss chard
- Avocado (technically a fruit)
When buying prepared foods, it is important to read labels. Buying gluten-free foods ensure that there will not be any hidden high carb ingredients like wheat.
Be on the lookout for fillers like soy, and added hidden sugars in processed foods. If your vegetarian lifestyle is out of a desire for good nutrition, then whole foods prepared at home are always healthiest and safest, because you know just what you are getting.
Even in a restaurant, you can find ways to order foods that are both vegetarian and keto-friendly, once you get used to the principles. Here we have compiled a list of some delicious vegetarian, keto-friendly recipes for you to try at home, or share with your favorite chef.
This delicious curry is based in coconut milk, and is hot and packed with flavor. Add any of the above-listed vegetables and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal for a cold night.
This bright, fresh salad makes good use of veggies, along with eggs and mayonnaise, to make a go-to salad for a vegetarian keto-friendly meal. Easy to prepare, a pleasure to behold, it’s a great everyday meal to keep you feeling good, keto style.
A casserole is an easy and filling entre and can be made ahead for those nights when you don’t have time to cook. This dish makes good use of crispy fried onions.
Once you get the hang of tasty additions like this, make with liberal use of oil, you realize how easy it can be to make vegetables delicious on the keto diet.
Generally speaking, beans are a no-no on the keto diet. That’s why we wanted to include this lovely chili based on walnuts as an alternative.
There are so many creative ways to get the flavors you love, like chili, while still sticking to your keto diet.
The bolognese is served on a bed of “zucchini” noodles. It’s a bit higher in carbs than most keto foods, but it is so healthy that you can add it once in a while to shake things up.
Top with parmesan to keep the fat level up, and make the sauce with plenty of olive oil. The vegetables simmer in red wine, an unusual treat in keto foods, so save this one for special occasions.