If you thought pasta and battered fish are no-go’s while on a keto diet, Kiwi chef Nerys Wheelan is here to prove you wrong.

Wheelan, who has represented New Zealand at the Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific Continental Selection, found when she started “living keto” a lot of the recipes for ketogenic food were not that great.

So she started trialling and adapting and creating her own recipes that are low-carbohydrate and taste good.

Wheelan then launched her brand and website — The Keto Chef’s Kitchen — and it’s from here her first cookbook of the same name has come from.

Keto diets involve limiting carbohydrate intake and eating higher amounts of good fats and moderate amounts of protein from whole foods to allow the body to use fat as fuel rather than glucose from carbohydrates.

However, carbohydrates are cheap, quick and easy to prepare, while keto foods, generally, are not.

“But fat keeps you full for longer.”

So, to save the pennies, Wheelan has included some tips to make keto more affordable. Most of those tips are based around making your own marinades and sauces, butter and almond milk.

There are some surprising inclusions — such as a keto pasta dough, fish batter, bagels and chocolate chips, all made with a base of ground almonds.

Wheelan also points out the recipes can be used by anyone looking for gluten-free, sugar-free and low-carbohydrate recipes.

Each recipe is accompanied by a nutritional breakdown.

The book is broken down into chapters on breakfasts, condiments, light meals, vegetarian and plant-based, dinner, sides and baking and desserts.

Keto pasta dough

Makes 4 portions

Gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free

100g ground almonds

20g coconut flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 egg yolks

2 tsp water

canola oil and butter, for cooking


Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, then mix in the apple cider vinegar.

Add the egg yolks and water, and mix well to form a dough. It should be firm but still slightly sticky.

Wrap in plastic wrap and rest for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Knead the dough lightly for a couple of minutes, rewrap and rest again for 30 minutes at room temperature. Or you can leave it in the fridge for up to two days, but let it warm up to room temperature before rolling.

Divide the dough in half so it is easier to work with and roll out between two sheets of baking paper. You want it so you can almost see through it, about 2mm thick.

Dust both sides lightly in coconut flour and lightly roll the dough up to cut it into strips, or whatever shape you are after. (If using this for filled pasta, see the ravioli recipe for guidance.)


This is probably the most important part of this recipe. You cannot boil it; it will just be mushy and gross.

Heat 2 Tbsp of canola oil in a pan and add one portion of pasta. Toss it through the oil and cook for 2-4 minutes. Add a knob of butter to the pasta and toss again. Then you can add a sauce. (Note: The cooking process is the same for ravioli or filled pasta, but it will need an extra couple of minutes cooking.)

Net carbs 3.3g | Fibre 6.7g | Fat 16g

Protein 7.8g | Net calories 205

Spinach and ricotta ravioli

Makes 4 portions

Gluten-free, vegetarian

1 recipe keto pasta dough

1 Tbsp butter

120g baby spinach

150g ricotta

50g Parmesan, grated

1 lemon, zest

1 tsp salt

½ tsp white pepper

canola oil and butter, for cooking


1 90mm ring cutter (or cup to cut around)


Make the pasta dough up to step 4 and let it rest at room temperature while you make the filling.

Heat a pan with the butter, add the spinach and use tongs to move it around until wilted.

Chop the spinach and add it to a bowl with the ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning.

Roll a quarter of the pasta dough between two sheets of baking paper until about 1mm thick. Try to make it a long sheet as wide as your ring cutter.

Shape tablespoon-sized balls of filling and place in a line on the pasta with enough space for your cutter and a little extra around each.

Roll another quarter of the dough the same size or a little bigger and lay over the top loosely.

Starting on one side, gently press around the filling to seal it, while trying to get out as much air as possible.

Use the ring cutter to cut out the ravioli. Dust lightly with coconut flour and squeeze the edges to make sure it is sealed properly.

Repeat rolling the rest of the pasta and offcuts until all the ravioli are made.

Heat a pan with 2 Tbsp of canola oil on a medium heat.

Add the ravioli in small batches and baste the hot oil over them. Gently turn them over with a spoon and add a knob of butter. Cook each side for 3-4


The pasta will lighten in colour when it is cooked.

Net carbs 5.3g | Fibre 7.5g | Fat 34.3g

Protein 17.5g | Net calories 417

Cinnamon buns

Makes 10 portions

Gluten-free vegetarian

50ml warm water

10g inulin

10g dry yeast

220g ground almonds

30g unflavoured, low-carb protein powder

100g erythritol

45g ground golden flaxseed

2 tsp xanthan gum

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

60g sour cream, warmed slightly

25g butter, melted and cooled

3 eggs, at room temperature

For the filling

25g butter, melted

1 Tbsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp erythritol

Coconut cream glaze

100ml coconut cream

3g Splenda or other powdered sweetener

½ tsp vanilla paste


Mix the warm water, inulin and yeast together in a large bowl and leave it in a warm place for 5-10 minutes while you sift the dry ingredients together.

Mix the sour cream and butter into the yeast mixture. Add the eggs, and whisk until smooth.

Mix the dry ingredients through the wet mixture and knead lightly until a sticky dough forms. It will be quite wet, but after a few minutes the flaxseed will absorb a lot of the liquid.

Roll the dough between two pieces of baking paper into a 15cm x 30cm rectangle about 1cm thick.

For the filling

With the long edge facing you, brush the melted butter over two-thirds of the dough, leaving the top third of the dough on the long edge free of butter (this will help the dough stick to itself).

Sprinkle the cinnamon and erythritol over the butter and roll the dough up from the long edge.

Cut the log into 10 pieces and arrange them in the bottom of a lined 26cm cake tin or tray.

Place a damp tea towel over the top and leave in a warm place for around 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.

Heat your oven to 170degC and cook the buns for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

To make the glaze

Mix the coconut cream, sweetener and vanilla together.

Allow the cinnamon buns to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle the glaze over top once cool.

Net carbs 4g | Fibre 5.8g | Fat 23.1g

Protein 10.4g | Net calories 279

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