How to Enjoy a Summer Get-Together AND Stay True to Your Diet

Summertime is synonymous with backyard barbecues for a lot of us.

Unfortunately, it can also be a cause of anxiety for many with alternative eating needs.

My first summer after committing to this new lifestyle was filled with a lot of “I can’t eat that." Social gatherings were less appealing and it would’ve been so easy to withdraw and retreat... or worse, slip back into old eating habits.

But, instead, I was fortunate enough to find a solution.

BYOKD (Bring Your Own Keto Dish)

I found the key to any get-together that has food involved, is to bring something, or a few somethings, that not only I can eat, but others will enjoy as well.

One of my favorite go-tos for occasions like these is my Spinach and Artichoke Dip. This dish is a crowd-pleaser and (BONUS!) people will be wowed with your kitchen prowess. 

I went to a pool party yesterday with this and served it with sliced red peppers, low-carb almond crackers and organic tortilla chips (for those not watching their carb intake). It was the first dish to get completely polished off... after I got my fair share, of course.

Another thing I like to do, even when I’m bringing one or two dishes, is eat a little something before I go. It doesn’t have to be a meal but more like a healthy snack of avocado and cheese or a few bites of anything I might have leftover in the fridge.

Being satiated before I’m tempted with less-than-ideal choices goes a long way in helping me stay in my lane of keto-living.

You don’t have to be afraid of the pool parties and backyard bbqs anymore!


Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 box of defrosted and previously frozen artichoke hearts (or 2 cans of artichoke hearts in water)
  • 2 boxes of defrosted and previously frozen organic spinach (make sure to use organic here because spinach is one those veggies that has tons of pesticides on them). 
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion diced
  • 16 oz of cream cheese softened (2- 8 ounce packages)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp.  fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  •  Chopped tomatoes to top before baking (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Open the spinach and wring it out in your hand so you squeeze all of the water out of it. Do the same thing with the artichoke hearts.

Put softened cream cheese, lemon juice, and ½ the Parmesan cheese in food processor and mix until creamy.  

Add the spinach, artichokes and onion into the food processor and pulse it all up until you have a consistent mixture.

Add the salt and garlic powder and mix again.

Put the dip into an oiled baking dish, add the rest of the Parmesan cheese to the top, drizzle olive oil lightly on top and place in the oven. (If you do add the tomatoes, make sure to sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and drizzle the olive oil after you put them on.)  

Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on how deep your baking dish is. You want to make sure the middle is hot throughout.

I usually put the oven on broil for the last few minutes to brown up the top. 

Make a plan, make a dish and get out there and soak up some summer sun with friends and family!