Food You Can Eat: A Keto Diet-Friendly Blue Cheese Burger

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Before I begin, the image I scavenged and the recipe they use (it varies considerably from my own) involves bacon, that you can see peeking out under the burger. Note how the bacon is not cooked to a crisp and is somewhat fatty. This is a coded message to those patriots who do not always make and may even prefer bacon that’s not charred, although that’s what I usually do when I cook and bacon is an ingredient.

I made these recently as part of a domestic home cooking lesson. I’ve been trying to teach The Better Half the Dark Arts of creating original food. Along with the cooking lesson comes basic kitchen foraging skills so last-minute improvisation tools are acquired. I’m doing this out of self-preservation. I’m somewhat hobbled but I’m pretty sure I’ll bounce back. However, there might come a day when The Medical Proxy will be my source of nutrients and I don’t think we should rely on takeout (decent options are few here in The Land of the Lost) or Meals on Wheels or something.

While I was making this it dawned on me that it was very Keto Diet. The Keto Diet is a low-carb meal plan that’s been around since before I was born. It started out as something, morphed into The Atkins Diet in the 1970s, became discredited, rose back into prominence as The South Beach Diet, and is now known as The Keto Diet. Everything old is new again in the food world.


This makes four cheeseburgers. They’re very rich, so they should feed two good-size adults plus any stray, somewhat feral animal that may hove into view.

Pull up a chair to your kitchen island and have your pupil dig up a chunk of blue cheese from the fridge and get down a bowl. Crumble the blue cheese, I guess about 4 oz., into the bowl. Have the pupil dig out the remainder of a sour cream container, and I think that was about 4 oz., and combine in the bowl. Remember that there’s some lemon juice in the bar area, so splash a little of that in. While the pupil is rooting around for the lemon juice have him also retrieve the Worcestershire sauce. Splash a little of that in. Mix. If your topping is a little too watery you can add a little non-flavored, full-fat yogurt. Have the pupil cover the bowl and put in the fridge to chill.

Stand up and drag out the stovetop grilling appliance, it will look like a panini maker. Plug it in. Wash your hands. Instruct the pupil to wash his hands and get out 1 lb. of hamburger you noticed in the fridge. Dump it in another bowl and add more Worcestershire sauce. Dice a small onion if you have one and you’re up for it. Mix this around with your washed hands. Show the pupil how to form the 1 lb. of ground beef into four patties. Not too rounded, because the thinner edges will burn and the centers will be a little raw by the time you’re done. Have the pupil hand you a spatula and press on the hamburger once or twice while it’s cooking. This shouldn’t take more than four or five minutes, depending on your panini maker-like device. Though you are hobbled, you are still standing, so show the pupil how to deftly flip the burgers, one at a time, and keep cooking some more, maybe another three minutes. I like my burgers medium rare so I completed mine in less time but The Better Half is from The Old School so I let his go longer. In any event, you probably know how you like your burgers and how you would make them and that isn’t really the point of this post.

Divide on two plates, two burgers each. If they’re little greasy, first transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels and then move them onto the plates. Have the pupil fetch the blue cheese topping from the fridge and spoon some on.

[Optional: When I did this we had some brioche that I wanted to use up, and some breaded onion rings, definitely not Keto-friendly, so I showed the pupil how to follow the directions on the frozen onion rings package, put them on a baking sheet into the oven, had him slice the brioche, and about four minutes before the onion rings were done add the sliced brioche to the baking sheet face down. I served the burgers open-faced, so two brioche, cut horizontally into four slices total, with a blue-cheese-topped burger on each. We also had a little lettuce and one sad tomato who gave its life to the cause, so that went on the bottom. If you try to put the lettuce and tomato on top of the blue cheese you’ll just make an open-faced mess.]



  1. That blue cheese topping (make it sloppier for salad dressing) recipe is a winner. Sadly, this juicy, delicious burger  this is not Keitel-friendly, but I see that he has, ever-hopeful, clicked like.

    • I’m surprised at how popular Atkins/South Beach/Keto diets are. As an omnivore I have absolutely no diet restrictions whatsoever, but I even was feeling heart palpitations whenever someone on this diet would describe what their food routine was like. 

      • It really speaks to me with how much our lizard brains glom onto hard structure.

        The crux of the keto diet is that carbs raise blood sugar and should be avoided, jesus fucking christ especially sugary foods. Like that’s solid logic that basically anyone would benefit from. You could ask my grandmother how to lose weight back in 1945 and she’d say don’t eat dessert.

        Except we get people who cling onto this hardcore “less than 30 grams of carbs a day” mentality and get hyperfixated on it. I have a coworker who did shots of heavy cream to “stay in keto” whatever the fuck that meant for them.  

        • Yes! Like, reduce your sugar, great! We should all eat less sugar. Reduce your calorie intake if you’re trying to lose weight, sure. But the rest of it is mostly crap. Chugging cream isn’t healthy no matter how few carbs you’re eating. 

      • There is absolutely no way it is healthy to eat the way most people on keto/Atkins eat. I think it can be done in an ok way, but eating loads of red meat, saturated fats, cholesterol… People might lose weight but weight does not equal health. I wish we could stop equating the two. 

        • I have no problem with the presumed health benefits of severely restricting processed carbs. Even basic processing, like homemade bread, okay fine restrict away.

          What gets me with the keto diet is that it’s like oh you had a large apple? Well you fucking just kicked yourself out of ketosis, loser. 

          I tried a high fat, low carb diet earlier this year and I had really good results (then I fell off the bandwagon and was like CAKE!!! COOOOOOOKIES!!!! CHIPS!!!! so here I am again needing to get back on it). But even then I was like okay let’s have an avocado with my dinner instead of rice. Or let’s make broccoli instead of a starchier side. For most of us, it doesn’t need to be you have to eat hardcore keto to be effective for weight loss and hunger management. 

          • Totally – the restrictions on fruit and other healthy carbs seems bonkers to me. My sister is often doing the low carb thing, and she’s lost a lot of weight doing it, but usually it’s more like what you’re describing – swapping out starchy meal components for alternatives. At one point she was kinda getting hardcore keto (and she’s vegetarian, so that’s tricky!), and I was getting a little worried. Luckily she relaxed a bit from that point. 

            • I was actually wondering as I was writing up this recipe/oral history whether there was a vegetarian version of the keto diet. I figured there had to be, because so many are vegetarians and/or on keto, so there must be some overlap.

              • Sure, though I bet it’s less sustainable. She was eating a ton of cauliflower, broccoli, tofu, avocado. Mostly just tons of vegetables and legumes. You can do dairy too, but she wasn’t even doing a ton of that. 

      • That’s the beauty of my domestic game show “Kitchen Sweep”. We had half a bag of frozen onion rings so that was qwik ‘n ez. I thought it was a little premature to say to the pupil, “Using a very sharp knife cut a potato or two into strips. You don’t necessarily have to peel them. Next, add cooking oil to a pot…”

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