I have been cooking low carb foods for a few years now (even though recently I’ve become more strict with it, eating 20 or fewer carbs per day), so I have lots of ideas I would like to share for my friends out there who are on a low carb idea and just don’t have any idea what to make on this diet.
I remember when I first stopped using pasta and bread. I thought, “What else is there?”, because it was such a staple in my home. I couldn’t imagine how I could actually survive, much less enjoy, eating without my grains.
If only I had known then what I know now! Not only is it not difficult to find things to eat, the foods you do eat keep you full longer, and taste wonderful!
Here are some of the foods that I’ve made in the last couple of weeks, or that I plan to make soon. Mostly really simple stuff. (I don’t have pictures because I just didn’t have time to take any good ones). Hopefully some of these will give you ideas and get you hungry!
1. Steak strips topped with egg and cheese. I usually start by taking chopped steak strips (the equivalent of 1-2 steaks, or more depending on who is eating it with me), cook in about 1 tbsp butter, and then top with chili powder, to taste. I then add a fried egg (with a little salt and pepper) to the top of each serving, and coat with about 1/4 cup mozarella, and let it get melted and gooey. Sometimes I add a pinch of cayenne pepper if I want it to be spicy, or use a dollop of sour cream on the side. This is really good, and seriously easy (and fast)!
2. Beefy “alfredo”….I get out 1-2 pounds of ground beef (depending on how many people I’m feeding), brown it and add one chopped onion, stalk of celery, 1 cup of mushrooms, half a head of cabbage shreds, and when the vegetables are tender, add one package of cream cheese, half a stick of butter, and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Yes, that’s a lot of fat. I add in some spices, like salt, parsley, and rosemary, and let it get warm while stirring it together constantly. When it’s done, it’s like a beef Alfredo- just, without noodles. It’s really good…all of the kids love this.
3. Another thing I love is to take chicken breasts (or even strips), butterfly them, fill with about 1 tbsp each of pesto, add Parmesan cheese and mozzarella (just eyeballing it), and bake in the oven wrapped in bacon and then 10 minutes before i take it out, coating it with more mozzarella cheese, maybe more pesto, and Italian seasoning. The pesto adds a really nice flavor!
4. An idea similar to the above is to split the breasts and fill with sautéed onions, cheddar cheese, and roasted chipotle peppers. Then wrap with bacon and bake… Wow, that is good eating.
5. Here’s another easy one. Get a frying pan and put 1 tbsp of oil in it, then place chicken tenders and (if you like) fresh jalapeño slices in the pan, top with curry powder, and fry until cooked. Serve with mashed cauliflower. Yummy!
6. Low carb hamburgers. Sometimes I cook up hamburger patties and just make a low carb burger. Add onions, tomato slices, pickles, mayo, a little ketchup (sparing), and mustard. Wrap in romaine lettuce leaves.
7. Taco salad. I make it often, just without the nachos. (However, if you really want that crunch with your taco salad, you can make cheese chips by taking a square of parchment paper , sprinkling about 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese on it, and microwaving for about 1 minute-be sure to check it yourself after 30-45 seconds because microwaves are all different- It will harden and get crispy. This makes a great snack by itself but works also as a substitute for corn chips!) Then, just brown the meat, adding taco seasoning … I personally use 1-2 pounds (because I have 8 people to feed) and get several bowls out, filling them with onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce, or taco sauce. Just layer the ingredients on each plate, and it’s delicious!
9. Egg salad (which I think is always low carb, so you could use almost any recipe online) is really good, and it’s even better in my opinion if you add some fresh jalapeños and bacon to it.
10. Crust-less quiche. Find any recipe online and omit the crust! I do this a lot… Who needs the crust anyway?
11. Roasted chicken. This one is so simple… I just stick a chicken in a baking pan (or roasting pot) with a little water, add spices (examples: Rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, garlic salt, onion powder), and cook till it’s juicy and falling off the bone. Any kind of vegetable is a good side for chicken.
12. Baked tilapia. It’s so easy! I sprinkle olive oil over the tops of the filets, add rosemary, Italian seasoning, or adobo seasoning, stick in the oven at 350 till they turn white and tender. I usually cook green beans or turnip greens to go with this.
13. Loaded “baked potato”, using avacado instead of potato! I just cut the avacado in half, remove pit, bake until soft (I think about 30 minutes? It’s been a while), then add butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon pieces, green onions. Delicious!
14. Fajitas are wonderful, just omit the tortillas. I use steak strips, chicken pieces, or shrimp, and cook with chopped bell peppers and onions with fajita seasoning till the meat is fully cooked. then I top with sour cream, guacamole, hot sauce, etc. I never miss the tortilla. So yummy!
15. Shepherds pie…this is by far one of my favorite low carb recipes. I brown 1-2 pounds of hamburger meat with spices- cayenne, pepper, salt, adobo seasoning. In a separate skillet, I sauté 2-3 each of julienned squash and zucchini in butter, with cayenne pepper and salt. In a pot, I boil a head of cauliflower. In a casserole dish, I layer the ground beef on the bottom, then add the zucchini/squash mixture next, then after draining the boiled cauliflower, I use a stick blender to make it creamy, adding a tbsp. of cream, 3 tbsp. butter, 1/4 cup cream cheese as I blend. Then mix in salt and pepper, and add this as the top layer. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 10 minutes before taking it out, I top with a generous layer of cheddar cheese so that it will be melted and gooey when it comes out. This is so, so good!
I’m sorry none of these are really written in a true recipe format. I’m just recalling them by memory. You could adjust them all to your own tastes, preferences, and styles.
Let me know if you have a favorite low carb recipe you would like to share in the comments below!