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Kalyn's Kitchen

About Kalyn’s Kitchen (or How I Lost 42 Pounds and Became a Food Blogger)

Photo by Derek Smith

What My Blog is About:
My name is Kalyn Denny and Kalyn’s Kitchen is the home-cooking blog I started in 2005 when I’d lost over 40 pounds on the original South Beach Diet and wanted to share my recipes with the world.  Now fast forward over 13 years later, and I’m still focused on healthy cooking and have transitioned from teaching elementary school to life as a full-time food blogger. My blog is focused on creative recipes for carb-conscious living, and you may wish to read this post about different diet types and this blog to see how Kalyn’s Kitchen has evolved through the years.

What hasn’t change is the focus on carb-conscious eating and most recipes you’ll find here are low-carb, gluten-free and South Beach Diet friendly and some are Keto, dairy-free, Paleo, Whole 30, and vegetarian or vegan. (If you’re following a certain way of eating you can use the Diet Type Index to see what recipes I have for your particular way of eating. There are also orange diet-type tags at the top of each recipe showing which diets I feel that recipe is suitable for.)

The carb-conscious recipes I like to create are often suitable for weight-loss or controlling blood sugar, even though I am not advocating one specific eating plan. And although I’m not a low-carb fanatic and not every single recipe here is ultra low carb, all the recipes on the site are geared towards carb-conscious eating and many thousands of people per day use this site as a source for the deliciously healthy low-carb recipes that I love to create.

Information That May Be Helpful:
Have questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions which might answer them. And if not, here’s How to Contact Kalyn.

Support for the South Beach Diet:
Because The original South Beach Diet was so life-changing for me, I tried to make this site a resource for other people who are following it.  You can read more about that on the page for Low Carb Diet / South Beach Diet Information and Resources.

What Other Diets are My Recipes Suitable For?
Not everyone who likes my recipes is following the South Beach Diet, so I try to make my blog useful for people following other types of diet as well.  You can use photo-index pages for the following diet types:

Low Carb  Recipes that are low in carbs.

Keto The lowest carb/highest fat recipes on the site, suitable for Ketogenic diets.

Low-Glycemic Carb-conscious recipes suitable for Low-Glycemic Diets. These are recipes that might not be strictly low in carbs, but have ingredients that don’t raise blood sugar.

South Beach Diet Phase One  Recipes for Phase One of the South Beach Diet.

South Beach Diet Phase Two  Recipes for Phase Two of the South Beach Diet. (Remember any Phase One recipe can be eaten for Phase Two.)

Can be Paleo  Dairy-Free and Grain-Free recipes that are Paleo or Whole 30 or which can be with specific ingredient changes.

Dairy Free  Recipes with no dairy products.

Gluten Free  Gluten-Free recipes.

Meatless Monday Recipes that have been featured in a Meatless Monday post.

Meatless Both Vegetarian and Vegan recipes.

Vegan  Recipes with no meat or animal products.

What Other Categories Can Help Find Recipes of a Certain Type?

Besides the diet-specific labels mentioned above, you can also find labels for my personal Favorites, recipes that Can Freeze, recipes that are Easy to Cook, Kid Friendly recipes, Slow Cooker  or Pressure Cooker Recipes, and recipes I’ve featured with only Five Ingredients.

How Kalyn’s Kitchen Got Started
Often people ask me how I started the blog, and Kalyn’s Kitchen actually began with an offhand remark made by my brother Rand. One day in early 2005 I was complaining about how hard it was to keep up with friends asking for recipes, and he said, “Maybe you should just put your recipes on a blog.” At that time I had no idea there were people on the internet writing about food, and certainly could never have imagined how food blogging would ultimately change my life.

My Family is the Greatest
My talented brother Rand still does all the graphics and headers for the blog and creates beautiful pins and Facebook videos, and Kalyn’s Kitchen certainly wouldn’t be the same without him. (Thanks Rand!) He’s also a willing taste tester whenever he makes a visit to Utah.

I also have eight more brothers and sisters who do a lot to enrich my life. Thanks to my sisters, brothers, sister-in-laws, and brother in laws Sandee, Clayton, Pam, Kelly, Mark, Lisa, Janet, Dave, Amy, Laurel, Carl, Vida, Dan, Val, and Jon for all they do for me. There are also 39 nieces and nephews and more than 75 great-nieces and nephews who occasionally make an appearance on the blog, including my nephew Jake  and my niece Kara, who are my cooking assistants on a regular basis.

My Life Before Blogging
In my previous life I had a business organizing catered houseboat trips at Utah’s Lake Powell.  That was a lot of trips to Lake Powell, but for my day job, I was an elementary school teacher for 30 years, and it’s always fun when former students find me through the blog. During my teaching career I served as President of the Davis Education Association, and was also a board member of the Utah Education Association and the National Education Association. I retired from teaching in 2009 to become a full-time food blogger.

Other Blogging Adventures
In addition to working on Kalyn’s Kitchen I also feature from-scratch slow cooker recipes from food bloggers all around the web for my other blog Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker.For years I was also writing about food at BlogHer.com, and even though I have now “retired” from that position, I’m still a big fan of the BlogHer/SheKnows organization and am proud of my association with them.

I’ve been lucky enough to speak about blogging at a few conferences. I was the moderator of a panel on The Art of Food Blogging at BlogHer Conference 2007 and participated in a panel about Food Blogging Best Practices at BlogHerFood 2009. I was also on a panel about Secrets of Successful Food Blogging at SXSW Interactive 2009, a panel about Food Blogging: Beyond the Basics at the IACP Conference in 2011, a panel on Building Blog Traffic Through Social Media at BlogHerFood 2012, and a panel on Pinterest at BlogHerFood 2015.

Kalyn’s Kitchen has received some nice mentions in print media and other places on the web, and I appreciate all the publications and sites who have featured my work (although the last few years I’m not doing a good job at all of adding things to that page!)

Kalyn’s Kitchen Through the Years:
(These are the anniversary posts I’ve made each year on the birthday of my blog.)

Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns One
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Two
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Three
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Four
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Five
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Six
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Seven
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Eight
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Nine
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Ten (!)
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Eleven (!!)
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns Twelve (!!!)
Kalyn’s Kitchen Turns 13 (!!!!)

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212 comments on “About Kalyn’s Kitchen (or How I Lost 42 Pounds and Became a Food Blogger)”

  1. Just stumbled across your site while looking for SBD recipes. I don't really like to cook and hate "planning" meals especially when they are specific to a particular way of eating. It looks like I found the jackpot with your site/recipes. Thanks so much for sharing all of this!!

  2. Hello Kalyn, Such great recipes and bravo for your organizational skills and hard work. Somewhat like you, I lost 30 pounds on low carbing (started with SBD and switched to Atkins) and I attribute much of it to being able to cook and make my own meals. On another note, I love legumes and miss them so one idea is to use canned black soybeans. To soften the texture, I drain, rinse and freeze in a Ziplock bag. I pull out a couple tablespoons when I need them and add to salads, taco mix, etc. Some of my local supermarkets carry them but sometimes, I need to go to a health food store. The brand I use is Eden. Thanks again for all your hard work and your great recipes.

  3. Kalyn,
    Is there any way to turn off the Blogher pop-up that comes up at the bottom of every page. It is so annoying and dissuades me from visiting your site. I can understand if it pops up on the home page, but to have it pop up on every page you navigate to on this site is just not very friendly. If there's a way to stop it, please let me know.

    • I'm sorry it bothers you, but I have no plans to get rid of that ad. If I didn't have ads on the blog I'd have to accept money to promote products, and that's something I'm just not willing to do.

  4. Hi there! I enjoy your blog and would like to ask you a question about it over email, could you let me know where to reach you?

  5. Hi Kalyn, what a great website and amazing recipes!! My husband loves the Broccoli, Ham, and Mozzarella Baked with Eggs recipe that I cooked last weekend :)))

  6. I just recently discovered the K. Kitchen blog and signed up for the daily e-mails. Great recipes! I saw your "Shop Amazon And Support This Site" phrase on the r.h. side of the page, but didn't see a clickable link. I'll be placing an order with them soon and wanted to start via your site. Other sites that I support each have links to Amazon that I've actually bookmarked, so that whenever I start an order I just review my list, select one bookmark and off we go to shop!
    Thanks – also just signed up for your slow cooker blog!

  7. Hi Kalyn…I go to your every week for new ideas. I'm not sure if I'd written you before but I just wanted to say AGAIN how much I love your site. I love the recipes, the pictures, the humor in the writing AND most of all (I think) is all the links you post to help with the references. So glad you created this site…and so glad I found it!!! Keep up the GREAT work, it's really appreciated!!

    PS…I don't like to cook…but your recipes are SO easy!!! <3

  8. I love this blog so much and it's been a great resource. I was wondering if you were ever considering making some of the recipes into a e-cookbook (or if you already have one and I just have failed to find it)?

    • Renee Claire, thanks for the nice feedback. I've turned down a few offers to do a paper cookbook, because I figured why would people buy it when they can get the recipes for free on the blog. But I have been giving serious thought to doing a "Best of Kalyn's Kitchen" type e-book. Maybe if I could find a good person to help with the project because I can barely keep up with my blogs right now as it is.

  9. I just found your site searching summer soups. It all looks fantastic. Looking forward to digging deeper.

  10. I'm really glad I found your site! I made your Spicy Sauteed Chickpeas Recipe with Ground Beef and Cilantro tonight. It turned out great! I added sun-dried tomatoes and lime to put my own twist on it. I found a few more recipes of yours I want to start out with and I can only imagine how many more I will make. Thank you for sharing your journey!

  11. Hi Kalyn, I used to put your recipes in my zip list recipe box and I had a little bookmark on my tool bar. I understand we can now use epicurious recipe box-which I have also-but I don't know what icon to use for automatically transfering it/=. Is there one?

  12. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your recipes. I got recent doctor's orders to cut down on carbs, and your blog has been a wonderful resource!

    You feature a lot of my favorite ingredients. But you also a lot of ingredients I wouldn't normally cook, but packaged in interesting ways that I'm definitely going to try. (For instance, the mashed cauliflower with cheese and dill was a definite success tonight.)

    I look forward to cooking my way through all of the recipes I've bookmarked so far 🙂

  13. Kalyn, just stumbled upon your blog after a bunch of clicks on Pintrest! Glad I found it! I recently lost 15 pounds on Weight Watchers, and while it's not the South Beach Diet, they are very similar in the way the plan is followed. (if you are familiar with WW I am on the Simply Filling Plan) I'm always looking for new recipe ideas, and after reading your blog, you need to know I just got back from the supermarket purchasing a ton of ingredients featured in your recipes! I tweak them a bit to fit in with my WW lifestyle and my husband already asked me "who is the Kalyn and why is her website now programmed as our home page every time I use the computer?" !! Need I say more? Thank you!

    Lori Dateno – a new fan

  14. Elaine, obviously you can use any ingredients you'd like, but the cookies won't be sugar free if you use brown sugar or cane sugar. I've made those cookies with both Splenda and Stevia in the raw granulated and both worked well, but I haven't made with other types of sweeteners so I can't say how it will work. I imagine it would be fine though.

  15. Hello Kalyn, I fell upon your site last week and have since printed out a few recipes to try. The one Im most excited to try are you flour free sugar free chocolate peanut butter cookies. I showed it to my boyfriend and he is not thrilled at al with the idea of usinf any substite sugars! sheesh! lol..Can I add more brown sugar? How much?Or can I use Cane Brown Sugar?
    Please get back asap Im dying to make tese. Thank you Elaine

  16. Mom~ster, †hanks so much!

  17. Kalyn,

    So many of your recipes are in our go to recipe box. My kiddos are getting older now and they are starting to enjoy them too. After a busy and somewhat sedentary fall/winter we are renewing our pursuit of healthier eating so I'm back to get more ideas. Always love your recipes and recommend them to people all the time…you have a knack of making healthy food taste better than junk food…which I love. Just wanted to wish you a great new year.

  18. Kalyn,

    So many of your recipes are in our go to recipe box. My kiddos are getting older now and they are starting to enjoy them too. After a busy and somewhat sedentary fall/winter we are renewing our pursuit of healthier eating so I'm back to get more ideas. Always love your recipes and recommend them to people all the time…you have a knack of making healthy food taste better than junk food…which I love. Just wanted to wish you a great new year.

  19. Thanks Catherine; glad you have been enjoying the vegetarian recipes! I am not a vegetarian, but I am trying to eat mostly vegetables myself (and enjoying it!)

  20. I've tried several of your recipes, and they have been perfect for my husband and me as we transition to vegetarianism! It seems like every time I see a link to a recipe that looks good, I end up getting shunted over to your blog. I think it's a sign that I just go ahead and subscribe already! Added you to my reader!

  21. Kalyn, Congratulations on your weight loss success! Thanks for so many great recipes too! I can relate, I lost alot of weight after juicing fresh fruits & vegetables & it inspired me to start my own blog too…thanks again!

  22. Good luck with your new commitment to healthier eating!

  23. Kalyn! I found you on a website on a list called "100 Food Blogs to Inspire Your Healthy Eating." Your blog is definitely an inspiration – I've been eating unhealthy all my life, convinced that a healthy diet equated yucky, boring food. But your blog has convinced me otherwise, because all your food looks delicious! I can't wait to try out one of your recipes.

  24. I've been reading your blog for a few years now and just recently decided to try my hand at this. I just wanted to let you know that your site is only one of a handful that I visit on a regular basis. My favorite recipe from your site is the halibut with parmesan sour cream sauce. Best Wishes!

  25. Jay, so glad you are enjoying the recipes and learning to enjoy cooking.

  26. The wife and I are doing the South Beach and love it! I'm a full time student now since being laid off and have taken over all the house duties including all the cooking. I'm traditionally not someone found in the kitchen doing anything other than eating and am completely new to cooking. Your blog is a treasure! Thank you for providing such wonderful and easy to make recipes. You've gained a reader for life! I made black bean marinated chicken thighs tonight and they were a huge hit and OMG your Brussels with pecans and gorgonzolla. Sigh….

  27. I found your blog via Pintrest and I am so glad I did!! Your recipes looks wonderful and I can't wait to try them out! Thanks!!

  28. Hi Nancy,
    One reason I chose South Beach to manage my weight is because I didn't want to calculate points, carbs, calories, etc, so I'm afraid I don't know a program that does that. But I bet you could find one pretty easily if you google something like "calculate nutritional information." I'm guessing there are many options available, I just wouldn't know one to recommend.

  29. Happy New Year Kalyn. I discovered your blog in 2011. I always love your the look and sound of your recipes. I would love to have the nutrition information on many of them. Just wondering if you have a suggestion for what would be the easiest way for me to get that. Is there a software I could plug them into that would give me that?

    Thank you!!!

  30. Kalyn,

    I just wanted to let you know that I make at least one of your recipes EVERY week… if not more 🙂 And I love blogging about them!

    Thanks for doing what you do!


  31. Kay what a wonderful before and after story. This comment really made my day. (And I can't quite get the hang of Zumba, so my hat is off to you for that!) So glad the blog has been this helpful for you.

  32. Dear Kalyn,
    At the age of 51, and a dance teacher by profession, I had pretty much given up losing weight. Believe me, I tried….for 10 YEARS!!!! To most people, I didn't look that bad, I hid it well! I had lots of excuses, 5 kids (Including twins), thyroid disease, approaching menopause……I looked around me, and thought I still looked o.k. for a woman my age. The problem for me was, I felt lousy all the time. I was tired, and I felt old! BUT….something happened! I decided to give it one more try, and went on the South Beach diet. Your recipes were the ONLY thing that helped teach me what I needed to do, to stay on this diet. I can proudly say, I have lost 35 pounds, and my BMI went from 31 to 20!! I went from struggling through the 6 dance classes I taught each week, to currently teaching 20 classes per week, half of them Zumba! I feel like I am in my 20's and most think I am in my 30's!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for helping all of us people who don't know where to begin with this diet! A week doesn't go by where I don't show people, before pictures of me, and I always tell them to check out your webpage if they really want to know how I did it!

  33. Miranda, how fun to hear that. Still hanging in there (with quite a few times going back to phase one for a little tune-up!)

  34. I just found your website from an old Woman's World magazine of 2006. Crazy! So great to hear that you're still going strong on being healthy and posting great recipes :).

  35. Sam, I am sold on it as well! And truthfully I don't think it's that hard to follow it. Just get back on phase one if you get off track; I do that several times each year.

  36. I think the South Beach diet is the best. We've pretty much adapted it as our lifestyle.

  37. Stacey, you're welcome and good luck!

  38. Thank you for your wonderful website! My husband and I just started the south beach diet and after two weeks, it has changed our lives too. I love food and am happy to discover that we can still enjoy food.

  39. I am not really qualified to give that kind of advice. I recommend you read the books so you understand how the various phases work. Phase one is generally recommended for two weeks, at which time you start to add things back into your diet.

  40. hi! your blog is very inspiring!
    i need your advice. i need to lose 30 lbs at least and i want to know how long should i stay in phase 1? is there a formula like phase 1 for 2 weeks then 2 weeks for phase 2 then go back to phase 1 for 2 weeks?
    i'm just on day 3 of SBD phase 1 and as of end of day 2, i already lost 1.5 lbs!


  41. Marilia, welcome. It really does work doesn't it? (BTW, love your name.)

  42. So happy I found your Blog and wonderful recipes! I've been a South Beach believer since I first tried a few years back and had success folowing it.
    Looking forward being your follower too! Thank you!
    Marilia Clark
    Dallas, TX

  43. SP, Thanks for the nice feedback about the blog! Hope you have fun with yours. I like the way the blog is always forcing me to learn new things.

  44. Hi Kalyn,

    While I'm not a South Beach dieter, I've been very inspired by your blog. Food is a major part of my life in terms of it bringing family and friends together. The way that you've beautifully put together your blog with all the lovely pictures is amazing, and looking at it has actually spurred me to create my own blog about my food experiences (with my girlfriend). We really enjoy looking through your site! Thanks for sharing your food!

  45. Hope you enjoy the recipes!

  46. Hello Kalyn!

    You are so inspirational and I love how your recipes are oh so healthy yet look absolutely delish! Definitely looking forward to trying some soon! First up on the list are your egg muffins! 🙂 Keep up the good work!!


  47. Kathy, welcome and hope the recipes will be useful for you.

  48. Just found your blog while looking for South Beach Phase One recipes on the internet. Am so excited to use some of your recipes which look delicious! I am a South Beach fan, have had success on it in the past, but have lost my way in recent times, so have made a comittment to get back at it. I've got my spouse doing it with me, so I KNOW I will need recipe variety to keep him interested and to keep me on track. I'm a Master Gardener, love to cook and am a published home and garden and cooking juournalist, having had my own newspaper column in the past. So nice to find you and klook forward to checking in often!

  49. Rachel, what a fun adventure to live in Singapore. I went to China in 2001 and loved visiting Asia. If you can't find Spike, any general-purpose seasoning blend will work. And good luck with the diet; I promise it will work if you stick with it!

  50. Hello! I did a google search today for "south beach diet recipes" and found your blog. I was amazed at all you have to offer here! Thank you so much for taking the time to share what you know with us. I'm really looking forward to trying your recipes. I just started phase 1 today and am optimistic about losing the extra 15 pounds I'm carrying at the moment. I'm an American living in Singapore, so not sure I'll be able to find the Spike seasoning you mentioned on some recipes, but you never know. If not, I'll just substitute until I can buy a few jars during my trip home this summer. Thanks again for such a great blog! Best regards, Rachel

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