Referred to as low carb, high fat low carb, and ketogenic, a keto diet is one that is low in carbohydrates.
A low carb, or ketogenic diet, produces what are called ketones in the liver, which your body uses for energy.
While many of these types of diets rely on a meal plan centered around meat and fish for protein, if you don't eat meat, finding and following a good vegetarian keto diet or vegan ketogenic diet can be challenging.
We've rounded up some of the best vegetarian recipes that will help you stay on track and take some of the work out of meal planning.
Best Vegetarian Ketogenic Recipes
Egg Stuffed Avocado
When you think keto diet meal plan, or low carb in general, one of the first things that can cause even the best of us to panic is the thought of giving up bread and pasta. I know before I started the keto-friendly diet, I could have lived off bread and cheese.
And don't get me started on mac and cheese. But that's lunch and dinner, and we'll get to that later.
For breakfast, I was an avocado toast person all the way. But guess what? You can still have that avocado.
Flax Seed Waffles
I love me a good waffle, and when I discovered flax seeds, I never went back.
High in fiber and absolutely delicious, once you discover the versatility of flax seeds, it will open up so many doors.
You can toss some on your veggies for extra flavor and fiber, or add them to your favorite low-carb bread recipe. They are great mixed with all manner of nuts and seeds.
These flax seed waffles are vegan, and grain- and sugar-free. They're also delicious, crispy, super flavorful, and packed with protein and healthy nutrients. Add whatever spices you like to change things up. They're great sweet or savory.
Vanilla Keto Smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to start the day, especially when you're short on time or don't feel like cooking. Throwing together a protein-rich smoothie only takes a few minutes. Smoothies give you a boost of energy and keep you full until lunch. One of the best things about this vanilla smoothie recipe is that you can mix them up.
If you prefer chocolate to vanilla, just swap out the vanilla powder for cocoa powder. And if you feel like berries or mango, dice up a handful, and toss those in with or without the vanilla. The possibilities for variety are endless.
Bell Pepper and Basil Pizza
You might have just done a double-take. Fear not, you can have all the benefits of a low-carb diet and still have pizza!
Was that the sound of clouds parting and angels singing? Yes, it was. The beauty of a low-carb pizza crust is that you can top it with whatever veggies and herbs you like that are in season.
A healthy dose of spinach, asparagus, and rosemary could easily be swapped out here for the peppers and basil. Experiment with whatever you like best. And the best keto diets mean never having to say no to cheese.
What more could you ask for?
Macaroni and cheese
Can you see where my passions lie? I promised I'd get to the macaroni and cheese, and I wouldn't lie. When you can have your macaroni and cheese and keto diet benefits too, there's no stopping you.
This recipe uses Shirataki noodles, which have zero carbs, no fat, and are very low in calories. They come in a variety of shapes, so you can play around with making low carb versions of all your favorite pasta dishes.
I'm a sucker for anything that sounds like schmacaroni and schmooze, but you could easily throw some of this together with your favorite red sauce and mix in some basil or oregano, for a traditional Italian pasta night.
Curry noodle bowl
When I'm not dreaming about pasta or pizza, I'm hankering for a good curry. Packed with flavor and rich in healthy fats and protein, noodles drenched in curry sauce make a perfect cold evening dinner.
And the leftovers pack up perfectly for lunch at the office the next day. This is another recipe that you can really play around with. Mix in different vegetables or toss in a handful or two of sliced almonds or chia seeds.
Add baby spinach or arugula. Toss in some fresh or lightly sautéed tofu. You could have curry for weeks and never get bored with this base keto recipe.
Halloumi Burger and Rutabaga Fries
If you dream in veggie burgers and fries, with a few minor substitutions and a little mind-opening, you will be pleasantly surprised. I'm a big black bean burger fan myself, and I suffer from loving grilled cheese way too much.
So, this recipe, for me, is the best of all possible worlds. Big, thick grilled slabs of Halloumi cheese sandwiched between delicious low-carb cheese bread?
And the rutabaga fries are to die for. Sweet potato fries are getting all the love these days, but once you have these, I'm sure you'll agree that they've got a new competitor in town.
Can You Eat Oats on Keto?
Eating the right type of foods can reduce bloating and help keep the digestive system functioning properly, particularly if you are on a diet. But carbs aren't the only thing to watch out for on a diet that strictly controls your calorie intake. Depending on what food item you are opting for, the same restriction can put a damper on a wide range of other foods, which can result in getting stomach discomfort, says registered dietitian Jennifer Taub, M.S., R.D.N., owner of JT Taub Nutrition in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
If you're looking to curb you're bloating, you'll need to decide what types of carbohydrates you can safely eat. This depends on your blood sugar levels and overall health, as it can be harmful to your body if you ingest too much sugar or other similar foods.
Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad
I know I might seem like a big cheesy pasta burger hot mess of a dieter, but I do balance it all out with salad almost every day. I love leafy greens any time of the year, and I practice both moderation and portion control when it comes to indulgences.
There are so many things you can do with cauliflower these days, from ricing it to steaming and processing it with a little salt, and pepper, for excellent faux mashed potatoes. This cauliflower tabbouleh salad and cauliflower rice hits the spot on a hot day.
Pair it with some grilled tofu or zucchini noodles in a little tahini, and you have a refreshing, healthy meal that is delish to boot.
Grilled Asparagus with Sriracha and Pecans
Asparagus is great all year long, and there's nothing like throwing it on the grill.
You can so easily toss it with a little butter, salt, and pepper, and be done. Or better yet, add a squeeze of lemon. But when you're in the mood for a little kick of spice and a bit of crunch, here's a delicious way to turn it up a notch.
Chocolate Protein Bites
Going keto doesn't mean giving up dessert.
And when you say chocolate and protein in the same sentence, I don't need to hear another word. These little chocolate protein bites are rich, tasty, and good for you. High protein and low carb never tasted so good.
Check out the ketogenic diet food list.
When you have to or want to go on an easy keto diet, you'll find the benefits far outweigh what you expect to be sacrificed.
You can eat really almost everything you're used to eating with just a few easy-to-make adjustments and substitutions.
You'll soon find you have more energy, you'll lose weight quickly and keep it off, and your blood sugar will maintain more consistent and healthy levels.
What Vegetables Are Off Limits for Keto?
Certain vegetables are restricted on the ketogenic diet due to their higher carbohydrate content, as the primary goal of this dietary approach is to induce and maintain a state of ketosis. Vegetables that are relatively high in carbohydrates should be limited or avoided to ensure that daily carbohydrate intake remains within the recommended range of 20-50 grams.
Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn are notably high in carbohydrates and are generally discouraged on the keto diet. These vegetables contain significant amounts of starch, which is composed of long chains of glucose molecules that can raise blood sugar levels, hindering the maintenance of ketosis.
Root vegetables like carrots and parsnips also have higher carbohydrate content compared to leafy greens, making them less compatible with the ketogenic diet. These vegetables contain natural sugars and starches that contribute to overall carbohydrate intake.
Legumes, including peas and beans, are another category of vegetables that are limited on the keto diet. They contain both carbohydrates and proteins, but the carb content can surpass the daily allowance for individuals following a strict ketogenic regimen.
Certain fruits, although botanically classified as fruits, are high in carbohydrates and should be consumed sparingly on the keto diet. Examples include bananas, mangoes, and pineapples, which contain more sugar than other fruits.
While vegetables are generally rich in essential nutrients, it is essential for individuals on the ketogenic diet to prioritize low-carbohydrate options. Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli and cauliflower), and avocados are excellent choices, as they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats while keeping carbohydrate intake minimal. Adhering to these guidelines helps individuals achieve and maintain the metabolic state of ketosis while supporting overall health and nutritional needs.