Like a lot of people who adopt a ketogenic/low carb lifestyle, I struggle a little bit with the total dearth of delicious snack food. This coupled with the typical increased salt intake needs when eating low carb make for some brutal snack food cravings. The typical solution to that is pork rinds. The problem is they are terrible. Stale and often rancid, they’re usually worst than just enduring your cravings. The solution — microwave pork rinds.
I honestly can’t say that I miss most of the foods that get put into the “never” category. Beer? I always preferred wine. Bread? There are easy substitutes. Soda? I switched to flavored seltzer.
I *do* get pangs of jealousy during the summer when grocery stores roll out the huge displays of junk food that beckon patrons to stock up for their summer holiday pool parties.
It was at summer pool parties like that where I met my very first summer love — Doritos. I was five years old. I guess you can say we have been in a really long, committed relationship since then.
Of course, I had to say goodbye to Doritos and all carby junk food when I began my ketogenic health overhaul. The only thing that squelched my cravings was pork rinds.
Over time, I worked out better solutions. I switched from stale pre-bagged pork rinds to fresh microwave pork rinds. I started to augment them with different seasonings, and it hit upon me to reverse engineer the ingredient list of a Doritos bag to create a similar-tasting seasoning mix. “Dorito Dust” Microwave Pork Rinds were born.
I ended up buying a bag of loose microwaveable pork rinds from Amazon.com here (affiliate). The ones I found at my local grocery store ended up entirely too salty after I applied my own seasoning mix. My recommendation for pork rinds is called “Carolina Gold Nuggets Microwave Pork Puffies”. The bag is quite large and should last you a while unless you are eating way, way too many microwave pork rinds.
My method created a bit of a predicament for this website, though. My original recipe involved some hard-to-find seasoning powders that I had already purchased in bulk for some other purposes, like cheese powder. It’s not really helpful to demand my readers buy a lot of extra pantry ingredients for the recipes here. I’d rather write them to work with a minimum of supplies and equipment and then suggest extra things to make them easier when appropriate.
Then I realized the solution. I pulled out a box of mac-and-cheese from my pantry that had been gathering dust and looked up the ingredients of the cheese packet contained inside it here.
“… whey (milk protein), milk protein concentrate, milk, milkfat and cheese culture. The cheese sauce mix also contains salt, sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium phosphate and calcium phosphate.”
It was perfect, and also (probably not coincidentally) aligns pretty well with the list of seasoning-related ingredients on the Doritos bag.
I had to suffer through a few batches that were not-quite-right before I was satisfied with the taste and visual pop of the seasoning mix. I do it for you guys. Take it easy on the oregano. Trust me.
It ended up being that easy. A simple and elegant solution to my Doritos heartsickness – Dorito Dust Microwave Pork Rinds. I’ll never go back to them again.
…and as to the pasta left in the box? Throw it out. You shouldn’t be eating that stuff anyway. 🙂
Dorito Dust Microwave Pork Rinds
- 1 packet cheese powder from Kraft Mac-and-Cheese
- 1/4 cup microwaveable pork rinds
- 1 tsp paprika (I used a heaping teaspoon)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 pinch ground oregano (a little goes a long way unless you want your pork rinds to taste really herbal)
- 1 ea paper lunch bag
- 1 ea paper plate
Grind paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano together to dust in a spice grinder.
Incorporate the ground dry seasoning mixture with the cheese packet contents. Mix well.
Microwave pork rinds according to the instructions on the bag you are using. In my case, I spread the pork rinds on a paper plate and microwave for about two minutes on high.
Work quickly while the pork rinds are still hot and a bit glistening to remove them to a paper bag and add 1 heaping teaspoon of the seasoning mix. Close the paper bag and shake well. Serve. Or just sit there and eat them straight out of the bag like a hyena as I do.
My recommendation for pork rinds is called "Carolina Gold Nuggets Microwave Pork Puffies" and is available on Amazon.com here (affiliate). If you enjoy this site, please consider using my affiliate links if you take my recommendations on supplies and equipment. It's how we can afford to keep the lights on and the content free.
There are obviously numerous brands of mac-and-cheese, and I can't vouch for them all as to gluten-free and low-carb status. I would recommend you read packages carefully and research before you assume you can make that substitution.
As much as I joke about throwing out the box of pasta, by all means save it for other uses. The cheese packet contains enough cheese for many servings of pork rinds -- you definitely only need to buy one box. It cost me a dollar at my local grocery store.