Pork + Pecans

I have had a bit of a keto-cation since the last time I posted here (for…ahem…six months or so). Because I have heard so much positive feedback recently about Keto Culture, and requests to post more, I am officially back. ¬†Since I have been gone, a few things have changed: my husband and I moved back to California (and will officially be staying in CA for a long time!), I have started up my photography business again in the LA area (view my photography website here at: laurathephotographer.com), and we have started back on Keto, and will be posting much, much more on Keto Culture.
My husband and I started back on Keto about two weeks ago. Since getting back on it, I have lost 15 pounds and am feeling much better than I have in quite a while. The positive feedback from the press about following a Keto lifestyle has been amazing, and I hope to continue to encourage more people to incorporate fat and protein in their diet instead of sugar. Minimizing your sugar intake to 20 grams per day or less puts your body into complete Ketosis, and burns fat like crazy. You have more energy, you sleep better, and the mental fog that sugar brings is lifted. Trying to get back on the wagon can be tough, though, and I know from experience how hard those first few days of sugar detoxing can be, also known as the Keto Flu. To get you through, increasing salt intake will minimize effects of the keto flu and drinking lots of water. A fun way to incorporate salt is by eating salted nuts, and one of the nuts lowest in carbs per serving is pecans.
MAP_8844A serving size is about 12 pecans, which totals to 4g net carbs. But raw pecans can be kinda boring, so roasting them with unique flavors brings out their nuttiness and makes them super crispy and an excellent source of fat on a keto diet.
MAP_8852Toss raw pecans with melted butter, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. The butter helps add a good source of fat and also helps the pecans crisp up in the oven.
MAP_8849Oh, Tapatio, I love you. This hot sauce adds the best flavor to the pecans. I love Tapatio because it is 0g carbs, but has almost a sweet heat without adding a lot of spice. It is the perfect accompaniment to these pecans. Just a few dashes adds so much more flavor than cayenne pepper.
MAP_8854Last ingredient is mustard (I used yellow mustard, but any kind that doesn’t have honey or added sugar in it will work), and between the vinegar from the Tapatio and the vinegar from the mustard, these slightly sweet pecans get an extremely savory flavor that makes for the perfect snack.¬†MAP_8856I spread the pecans evenly onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roasted them at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through so that they did not burn.
MAP_8858These nuts are perfect as a crunchy component on a salad, spread with some cream cheese and eaten as a mid-morning snack, or used as a breading on chicken or pork.
MAP_8861MAP_8863Or you can just sit on the couch and eat them while watching Unbreakable (which might be exactly what I did).

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups raw pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
5 dashes Tapatio (or however spicy you want)
2 tbsp French’s yellow mustard
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
3. Mix pecans, melted butter, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper
4. Add dashes of Tapatio and mustard
5. Combine and add to pan and bake for 20 minutes
6. After 10 minutes of baking, remove cookie sheet from oven and toss pecans
7. Put cookie sheet back in oven and bake additional 10 minutes
8. Let cool for 10 minutes before eating

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If you are looking for an easy weeknight dinner that incorporates fat and protein and is FREAKIN DELICIOUS, cook these crockpot ranch pork chops.
MAP_8830Melted butter and ranch powder. Ohmygoodness, so good. Cooking pork chops in a stick of melted butter might not sound appetizing, but actually on the Keto diet, adding fat to your food is EXTREMELY important. When the body is not storing carbohydrates in the form of sugars inside our body, it instead burns fat. Eating fat to burn fat is what is so essential on a Keto diet, and without full fat, Keto diets will fail. So eat butter, coconut oil, cheese, eggs, and avocados. They are good for you.
MAP_8833I used bone-in pork chops and cooked them in the crock pot. You can use as much ranch powder as you want, but I used a lot because I love the flavor and they all complement the pork perfectly.
MAP_8836 MAP_8869I served the pork chop with frozen broccoli cooked with coconut oil. Ignore the fact that the broccoli is just mostly nubs; it was cheaper than buying the whole frozen broccoli. However, it was one of the easiest, tastiest dinners we have made in quite a while.

Ingredients
3 bone-in pork chops (about 1 inch thick)
3 tablespoons Ranch powder (1 packet)
1 stick butter (1 cup)
Frozen broccoli
1 tbsp Coconut oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions
1. Heat crock pot on low
2. Cover pork chops in ranch powder, salt and pepper
3. Pour melted butter over pork
4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
5. Before serving, heat broccoli on medium with coconut oil
6. Cook for 10 minutes
7. Serve pork chops by shaking off excess butter in the crock pot. Enjoy!