We all know that there is simply no end to the fad diets floating around out there. If you have been listening to any sort of health news, you have undoubtedly heard of the ketogenic or keto diet. Way back in the day, this was the Atkins diet. Oh, Atkins still exists, but in the paleo world, if you’re talking high fat, moderate protein and low carb, you’ll hear the term keto, rather than Atkins because there is still a strong focus on the quality and types of fats you are to eat and the importance of eating lots of green veggies.
So is keto just a fad? I don’t know. I’m sure for some people it is, just as gluten free has become a bandwagon lots of folks have jumped on. In that regard however, I’m all for jumping on the bandwagon. I think everyone could stand to benefit from eliminating gluten from their diet, so fad or not, I say, “go for it.”
I don’t feel the same way about keto however. Perhaps I should do a good, scientific round-up of the particulars of a ketogenic diet, but I’ll save that for another day.
For now, just know that this recipe will fit well into a ketogenic diet if that’s what you’re going for. If you’re not interested in keto, just know that it’s a tasty, kid-pleasing meal that comes together quickly and will feed a crowd.
This meal is perfect for weeknights because it can be thrown together super fast. I bake it for a few minutes at the end of the cooking time, but you could totally skip that part if you’re running short on time. The baking serves to thicken up the sauce a bit, but is totally unnecessary.
You need a lot of plant matter to round out this meal because the chili dog casserole itself is so very rich. It’s high in protein and fat, which is good for growing children or anyone on the ketogenic diet. For those of us not growing by leaps and bounds and not trying to be keto, a small serving of this will do. Here’s what I suggest to round out your meal:
- This would be delicious over a pile of squash noodles, sweet potato noodles or spaghetti squash
- Make spaghetti squash cakes and serve over those if you want to be a little fancy
- Serve alongside a big, green salad
- Make a pan of roasted vegetables – just use whatever veggies you have lying around
Bonus: there are a lot of vegetables hidden away in the rich, chili sauce. The tomatoes themselves are full of vitamins and powerful antioxidants. So even if you can only get your kids to eat a small serving of veggies on the side, there’s good nutrition in the casserole itself.
I think those are enough reasons for you to make this dish. If you’re not interested in the health benefits at all, just make it because it’s yummy!