Side dishes

While I love meat and fish, I simply adore vegetables and believe the side dishes can often be the star-of-the-show. I am a huge believer in eating plenty of keto-friendly vegetables for that much-needed fibre. Here are some ideas to get you to eat your greens, as well as some breads to mop up stews and sauces…

Lemon & Thyme Fried Keto ‘Gnocchi’ (Nut-free)

This is a great way to flavour my Fried Keto Gnocchi (Nut-free) recipe. Its simply fresh thyme leaves and finely grated lemon zest scattered over. These two ingredients complement each other beautifully so you could tuck in as is, or serve it alongside chicken or fish. The macros for this recipe are based on it serving two people, but it could be stretched to serve 4 as a light meal or small side dish (the gnocchi itself is very rich). The time indicated does not include the making of the gnocchi, but most of that recipe can be made ahead of time. Enjoy!

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Fried Keto Gnocchi (Nut-free)

This was my second attempt at gnocchi where I didn’t want the ‘heaviness / density’ of almond flour like my other posted version, and I am delighted with the little pillows of cheesy softness of these! This is the basic, undressed recipe – so serve it with your favourite sauce (like this simple, lovely Lemon & Thyme version). Be sure not to miss out on any recipes by signing up to my monthly e-mailer where I send you a little reminder of all the recipes I posted that month. The macros are calculated that this recipe serves 2, but they can be quite rich so you could stretch it to serve 4 as a side dish and halve the macros accordingly. Enjoy!

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Keto Gnocchi

This is a basic, undressed ‘gnocchi’ recipe loosely based on the fathead dough concept. It looks a little rustic, but it does the job! It will need to be served with a sauce and some great ideas include Smoked Bacon & Tomato or Spinach and Pesto. The gnocchi itself is incredibly filling, so this recipe could serves 2 people as a main meal, or you could serve it as 4 lighter meals / side dishes then halve the macros accordingly. If you prefer lighter, ‘pillowy’ gnocchi pieces, you may like my nut-free version – Fried Keto Gnocchi (that version is only 1.2g carbs per serving) where I don’t feature almond flour and fry the little delicate pieces after cooking. Try both versions and stick to your favourite using your favourite sauces.

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Cheesy Celeriac Mash (Keto)

My Celeriac Dauphinoise is currently the most visited recipe on the blog so I wanted to try this low carb root vegetable in other ways. Mashed in the same way I do my creamy Cauliflower-mash recipe, this beautiful side dish is extra special because it boasts a unique flavour in addition to a beautifully creamy mouthfeel: simply perfect to mop up all those lovely keto sauces. It’s coming close to Christmas, so be sure to check out some keto-friendly ideas here that you could create for your spread and use some of the Side Veg ideas to complement your dinner. More importantly: remember that there may be “traditions”, but there are no “rules” >>>>  Do whatever you want to at Christmas! (I grew up in South Africa and we had a BBQ – pardon me, a BRAAI – every year on Christmas Day and our ‘dessert’ was a juicy watermelon that would float in the pool while us kids swam around it.) JUST ENJOY THE TIME WITH YOUR LOVED ONES and forget about how “perfect” your turkey should be! :)

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Keto Yorkshire Puddings

It took a lot of trial and error to eventually get to the point where I could confidently share my recipe for these lovely Yorkshire puds. Arrowroot powder is essential for this recipe to work (believe me, I tried everything) … and then with just the right amount of extra-fine almond flour (its important that its the super-finely ground kind), one of these will finish your Sunday Roast perfectly. My first few batches had an ‘eggy’ flavour, so I added garlic powder and mustard powder to the mix (a twist which worked beautifully in my Keto Chia Bread) – and they do an excellent job of ‘masking’ the eggy flavour without overpowering the puds with a garlic or mustard flavour. Enjoy this with your favourite Sunday Keto Roast – see some ideas here >> where several include a 100% keto gravy to enjoy over the puds!)

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Mushrooms in Bay Cream (Keto)

This dish was one of my ‘accidents’ that turned out simply perfect! Its a tasty mushroom side dish where medium-large sized mushrooms are flash-fried for caramelisation, then baked in a thick cream infused with garlic and bay leaves. I made this dish twice, once with fresh bay leaves and once with dried bay leaves and found that dried bay leaves offer a much better flavour, so don’t kill yourself trying to source the fresh kind because dried bay leaves pack a better flavour punch. If you choose not to have this as a creamy side vegetables dish, it will make a lovely topping for steak or pork chops. You will notice at the end of the recipe, I suggest finishing the dish with a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice, but this is optional. (However, if you choose to do so, I don’t recommend adding the lemon beforehand as the sauce may curdle when baking. Please do it afterwards.) Enjoy!

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Cauliflower Steaks with Smoked Paprika Butter (Keto)

I love vegetables and never run out of ways to create interesting side dishes to enjoy alongside our meat or fish. Cauliflower is one of my favourite. Here, I simply cooked two ‘steaks’ (intact pieces cut from the centre of a large head) and made a quick, tasty butter using smoked paprika. (Smoked paprika has an intense and important flavour and much better than regular paprika, so I encourage you to make the effort to source it). Scatter over some strong Gouda cheese and allow the whole lot to melt before tucking in. Lush! Be sure to check out all the Side Dish ideas on the site.

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Broccoli and Brown Butter Mash (Keto)

OK, this is probably not my greatest picture, but the flavour of this broccoli mash makes up for what you see as a bowl of bright green mush! I simply mashed up cooked broccoli and folded through glorious ‘browned’ butter before seasoning and serving. Browned butter (called Beurre Noisette in French culinary terms) is basically butter (grass-fed only for us, obvs) that has been melted down and kept on the heat until the milk solids separate and start to gently brown, flavouring the butter. The butter is then strained through cheesecloth or food-grade muslin, discarding the milk solids. You are left with a deeply-flavoured, beautifully nutty melted (and very versatile) butter that will blow your mind! If you choose to always have a batch of little set browned butter cubes on hand, I have a Beurre Noisette recipe on the site which is portioned after setting and can be used in numerous ways. FUN FACT: Julia Childs once said “… if you don’t like broccoli, add more butter.” <- Love that!

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Soft Keto Dinner Rolls

I have developed many bread recipes over my journey, but these little guys are The Bomb! They are also my current new favourite! They are soft, stable, full of flavour, and the recipe could not be simpler (if you use the right ingredients – see the step-by-step pics below). As a lunch or snack option, Funnyman halves one and melts cheese over the two halves with a little pesto (or a slice of tomato) and simply adds a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes or cracked Pink Himalayan Salt… Or….. my personal preference, serve it up as a side dish to mop up all the sauce from the rich, moist dishes you are creating. YUM! They store well in the fridge (wrapped or sealed) for a few days – and can then be simply unwrapped and popped in the microwave for a few seconds to ‘bring back to life’. The macros are shown as one soft dinner roll = one serving.

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Cajun Cauliflower Bake (Keto)

I never run out of ideas for making interesting side dishes to enjoy alongside meat or fish. I LOVE vegetables and believe its where you can get really creative. (It’s also where most of your daily allocated carbs should be coming from: high fibre, nutritious vegetables that are packed with goodness.) Here, I coated cauliflower florets in a spicy Cajun spice mix and roasted them until done. To add additional flavour and a creamy mouthfeel, I drizzled over a mix of double cream and sour cream before cooking for a few more minutes. This Cajun cauliflower side dish is so packed with flavour and spice, I advise it’s served alongside simple roasted chicken thighs or pork chops.

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Broccoli and Bacon Cheese Bakes (Keto)

I posted a recipe of Cream-baked Broccoli a little while ago (it’s a lush recipe: rich, filling and full-flavoured, please try it). However, I wanted to take the concept up a notch and add crispy bacon and Cheddar. Can we all take a moment to high-five the keto way-of-life: what other “diets” can encourage adding bacon and cheese?… Anyway, I created this recipe in 4 individual little stoneware pots (because its SO cute) but you can make this same recipe in an appropriately-sized dish if you choose to – as long as the end-result serves 4 people in even-sized portions as that is how the macros were calculated..

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Keto Cauliflower Cheese

Sunday roasts aren’t what they used to be, are they? We now skip the roast potatoes, the Yorkshire puds and we pass on the gravy. This is why I worked on a keto cauliflower cheese as a delicious side dish to your roast meat. This recipe is not only cleaner, tastier and lighter, but it’s 100% KETO and I bet it will knock the kids’ socks off. The flavour is rich and satisfying and I love scattering over smoked sea salt flakes before serving for additional flavour and texture. The macros were calculated that this recipe will feed 6 people, if served as equal-sized servings.

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Tear-and-share Garlic Bread (Keto)

Just in time for summer! This is a fantastic keto garlic bread roughly based on the fathead dough concept. This recipe will yield 12 slices and the macros have been calculated on one serving being 2 slices (because who eats only one slice of garlic bread at a braai?) – so this will sufficiently feed 6 people. I used equal amounts of (recently discovered) extra-fine almond flour and regular almond flour to achieve the texture I wanted. NOTE: I have not developed this recipe using only regular almond flour, but I anticipate a much stickier mixture which will be impossible to work with – so I encourage you to invest in a bag of the extra-fine flour which I have so far only seen available at amazon). Perhaps Holland & Barrett will stock it in the future if we all kick up enough of a fuss. Sealed well, almond flour will last a long time, and you will love this keto garlic bread so much, its best you have a bag on hand this summer. Be sure to also check out all the other Bread recipes on this site..

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‘Rustic’ Pesto & Cheddar Fathead Rolls (Keto)

The Ham & Gruyere Rolls recipe that I posted a few weeks ago was so well-received (please try it), I decided to shake things up a bit and use a similar concept with fresh homemade Basil Pesto and grated Cheddar. There was one very significant change to the dough recipe (which is loosely based on the “fathead” concept): I experimented with extra-fine almond flour instead of regular almond flour. Some adjustments had to be made to the remaining ingredients, but the texture was exactly what I was after and the BONUS factor was that the raw ‘dough’ was SO much easier to work with! If you choose to follow this recipe, please use extra-fine almond flour – I cannot guarantee successful results if you don’t. I titled them “rustic” because while they do puff and rise, they lop to the side and look exactly like something that is made at home with love (that’s how we all cook, right?) Regarding the basil pesto, I really don’t want to blow smoke up my own… but my fresh, homemade basil pesto is simple unbeatable. It takes a few minutes to make and is SO worth the effort..

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