Vegetarian Keto Mushroom and Spinach Palmini Alfredo
Can you be both vegetarian and keto at the same time? Some would argue not, but I am convinced you can have the best of both of these very different worlds.
First, though, is restricting yourself to a vegetarian diet even healthy? If you asked Coach Tim, he would tell you there’s little question that a vegetarian diet is healthy, particularly when it emphasizes whole-plant-based foods. In fact, he would argue most people would be well served to increase their consumption of whole, plant-based foods while minimizing their intake of refined, processed foods (both less-healthy plant foods and animal-based foods).
However, vegetarianism isn’t just about what you’re not eating. The healthfulness of vegetarianism is also determined by what you are eating. Just because you’re not eating meat doesn’t make you any healthier if you’re eating a bunch of junk—plant-based or not.
And, just because you are vegetarian doesn’t mean you can’t also implement another tool from your toolbox, depending on your specific goals.
Along those lines, is the keto diet even healthy? Some will be quick to tell you that the ketogenic diet provides a “metabolic advantage.” Briefly, proponents of this theory say that, calorie for calorie, the keto diet leads to more weight loss than other types of diets (containing carbs) because it somehow forces the body to burn more calories. But if you asked Coach Tim, he’d tell you this view refutes the second law of thermodynamics and the notion that a “calorie is a calorie.”
I would argue that anything you adhere to, “diet-wise,” is guaranteed to show results—whether it’s paleo, low carb, high fat, or even one of our BioTRUST-approved meal plans—as long as portion sizes and calories are kept in check.
I have previously created some healthy vegetarian cuisine, although some would need to be tweaked a little to fit into the keto lifestyle. Some of my favorites include:
- Thai Curry
- Buffalo Cauliflower
- Tex Mex Cauliflower
- Vegan Mac-n-Cheese
- Vegan Protein Pancakes
- Chickpea Snacks
- Vegan Protein Snacks
- Zucchini Recipes
- Vegan Chili
- Avocado Recipes
Heading back to keto… the one thing I consistently hear from clients who adhere to a ketogenic diet is that they miss their pasta. Well, to be fair, pasta AND bread, so essentially, the processed carbohydrates that lack nutritional value.
Enter the palmini noodle. Palmini noodles are heart of palm in the form of spaghetti-type noodles. And they serve as the perfect vehicle for a hearty, creamy, cheesy sauce. They have a light, delicate flavor and are low in carbs, so they are great for any dish. And since they are a vegetable, they are suitable for those who are adhering to both a vegetarian diet as well as low carb or keto plans.
Check out what I came up with, and let me know what you think!
- ½ cup mushrooms I used bella and button
- ½ cup spinach
- ½ stick butter for sauce
- 2 tbsp butter for veggies
- 1 cup garlic
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 8 oz gruyere
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp refrigerated squeeze basil
- Palmini noodles 2 containers or 6 servings
- Sauté mushrooms and spinach in 2 Tbsp butter until just about done (leave a little bit of cook time); set aside.
- Sauté butter and garlic over medium-high heat.
- Add heavy cream.
- Slowly stir in cheeses in small batches.
- Once all of the cheese has been incorporated, turn off the heat.
- Add in palmini noodles, mushrooms, and spinach.
- Stir until sauce covers all “noodles.”