Friday, March 30, 2012

Favorite Low Carb Recipes!

Everyone wants to lose weight but no one wants to diet, me included. My husband and I both needed to lose weight. I have a very good friend who has lived on the South Beach diet for years. She loves it, and she is skinny (also over 50) which was all the advertisement I needed to give low carb a shot. Everything she has ever made at her home to serve to guests has been healthy and delicious. My thought every time I left her house was if only I could eat the way she does I would lose weight and not feel deprived at all.

So I started trying out low carb recipes and keeping the ones that I really liked and would actually eat even if it were not low carb. In the process, I lost thirty pounds and my husband lost forty. The best part of that is that it was not hard and I did not have to count calories and ate normal portions. I did not exercise any more than I did before (walking and taking the stairs always) but my husband did hit the gym more often. Other family members have witnessed our success and started doing the same thing and are losing weight. My uncle who has struggled with his weight his whole life has been doing it for several months and has lost eleven pounds. He says he will never go back to eating the way he did before. If you really want to lose the weight and keep it off, you have to come up with new family favorites and comfort foods to replace the old ones. It has to be a change in lifestyle not a diet. Basically, you have to like it and not feel deprived.

Start with looking at what you currently eat that would fall in the low-carb category. There was actually quite a few family recipes that we already liked that were low-carb. Go HERE or HERE for low-carb food lists. See if you can't get at least three days worth of recipes that fit the bill.

Here is the basic rules we followed. Cut out the sugar, including soda (this was a big one for my husband) and flavored sugary coffee creamer (big one for me). You can replace with canned flavored water, or occasionally diet soda (I like Diet Dr. Pepper and Coke Zero) and sugar free flavored creamer. No potatoes except once in a while sweet potatoes. No pasta except once in a while when you really need a fix, Dreamfields or whole wheat. Here is the trick for using a different kind of pasta - use it in a new recipe so you will not be comparing it to a favorite and finding it lacking. Just so you know, if you have a strong pasta craving now, it will really decline by the third week. No bread except on occasion when you need a fix, whole wheat or the "toothy" variety with lots of whole grain, etc. If you are eating out, choose the thinnest bread available like a tortilla or flat bread. No fruit juice, make your own smoothie with whole fruit. Avoid really sweet fruit, focus on berries of all varieties and citrus. No white rice, but occasionally whole grain rice. Just a note, "low-fat" is not necessarily the best choice. Often, the more fat that is removed from a product, the higher the carbs. For instance, if you drank 8 oz of 1% milk you are consuming 11.4 carbs. Just as a comparison, if you drank 8 oz of heavy cream, you would consume 6.6 carbs. Fat also slows down the digestion of carbohydrates.

I will be adding great recipes as I remember or discover them. I really needed a place to put all my low-carb favorites so this will benefit me as much as any one else who goes low-carb. I generally like easy recipes without a lot of foreign ingredients. Most of the time my chicken recipes begin with frozen chicken breasts - not thawed. If you have a great low-carb favorite, leave the recipe or link!

Main Dishes:

Beef and Cabbage Bake
Meatza
Greek Meatza
Baked Pesto Chicken
Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Baked Chicken with Curry Sauce
Artichoke Chicken
Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup
Baked Sour Cream Tilapia
Spicy & Creamy Chicken Enchiladas (use whole wheat tortillas)
Spinach Chicken Bake
Hamburger Soup
40 Clove Garlic Chicken
Spinach Turkey Meatloaf (YUMM!)
Spinach & Artichoke Topped Chicken
Reuben Casserole
Spinach Lasagna
Chili (pretty much any chili recipe!)
Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken
Caribbean Chicken Stew
Blueberry Chicken Salad
Crustless Spinach Quiche
Oven Baked Salmon with Herbs
Feta Spinach Salmon Roast
Mushroom Filled Meatloaf with Sour Cream Sauce (recipe below)
Yummy Chicken Stuff
Taco Bake
Chicken Lettuce Wraps (recipe below)
Sausage Pumpkin Chili
Mediterranean Broiled Fish
Roast Pork Loin with Garlic and Rosemary
Cheeseburger Soup
Confetti Mini Meatloaf (Kid-friendly)
Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Pesto Pecan Chicken
Rosemary Chicken
Lemon Feta Chicken
Pork Tenderloin Medallions
Easy Whole Chicken in the Crockpot
Dreamy Cheesy Crockpot Chicken
Sour Cream Smothered Chicken
Adobo
Maryland Shrimp Salad
Red Cabbage Dill Tuna Wraps
Baked Tilapia and Fresh Spinach
Pad Thai Frittata
Rosemary Pork Chops
Baked Coriander Tilapia
Tuna Patties
Stuffed Red Bell Peppers
Anything on the grill!

Sides:

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake
Spinach and Artichoke Casserole (family favorite for decades)
Julienne Oven Zucchini
Roasted Rosemary Butternut Squash
Dijon Cauliflower (recipe below)
Steamed Vegetables with Peanut Sauce (recipe below)
Danish Cucumber Salad
Almost Loaded Baked Potato (recipe below - really good!)
Stuffed Mushrooms
Brie Stuffed Mushrooms
Brussels Sprouts & Bacon (recipe below)
Pesto with Zucchini Noodles (awesome tool, check it out)
Quick Creamed Spinach
Onions Baked with Rosemary and Cream
Broccoli Casserole
Asparagus with Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce
Lemon Garlic Roasted Broccoli
Sexy Cabbage
Zucchini with Almonds
Pickled Sugar Snap Peas
Collard Greens
Colorful Coleslaw
Roasted Fennel
Roasted Radishes
Mexican Cole Slaw with Lime and Cilantro
Cheesy Zucchini with Garlic & Parsley
Crockpot Cheesy Spinach Casserole
Oven Roasted Rutabaga Fries
Roasted Cauliflower with Bacon and Garlic
Tomato and Black Bean Salad
Oven Fried Zucchini Chips
Lemon Summer Squash
Roasted Zucchini with Herbs and Feta
Mediterranean Beet Salad

Sweet:


Blueberries with Lemon Cream
Orange Fluff (really good!)
Raspberry Fool
Pumpkin Mousse (recipe below)
Cheesecake Cupcakes
Chocolate Mousse
Strawberry Cups

Breakfast:

Crustless Quiche - Pretty much any kind. Here's a tip: Start with putting some cheese on the bottom. It forms a kind of crust when cooked.
Easy Eggs Florentine
Turkey Bacon Frittata
HERE is a great list of breakfast recipes


Recipes:

Dijon Cauliflower

My mom made this while I was growing up so it has been a long time family favorite.

Ingredients:
1 C Real Mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 Strips Cooked Bacon (chopped), optional
1 1/2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Head Fresh Cauliflower
(I use a 16oz bag of frozen cauliflowerettes. Either will do)
Ground Pepper to taste

Directions:
Place cauliflower in a casserole dish with the butter. Microwave covered for approximately 8 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Stir cauliflower. In separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise and dijon mustard together. Spread mixture over cauliflower and top with bacon pieces and shredded cheese. Microwave for another 4 minutes, or until cheese is well melted. Top with ground pepper. Enjoy!

Approximately 5-6 carbs for the whole dish (divide by number of servings to get carbs per serving)
.


Steamed Vegetables with Peanut Sauce

I got this recipe online but I have lost the link. It is a great side dish!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter with nothing added
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root (optional)
1/2 to 2/3 cup water

3 cups Broccoli or Cauliflower

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients except for the water in a small saucepan with a wire whisk. Add the water and whisk again. You can add additional water if you want a thinner sauce. Heat until warm and pour over the veggies or serve on the side.

After you’ve whipped up the peanut sauce, cut 1/2 pound of fresh or frozen (fresh is better) broccoli and cauliflower (about 3 cups), into bite size pieces. Now, neither of these veggies — especially broccoli — have been among my favorites, but — wow! — are they ever good with the peanut sauce. One secret of steaming broccoli is to bring the water to a boil, insert the steamer basket with the veggies, and cook for exactly 5 minutes. It’s crucial not to overcook broccoli, unless you like mush.



Almost Loaded Baked Potato


This disappears in our house really fast!

Ingredients:
1 bag of frozen cauliflower, thawed and chopped
8 oz of softened creme cheese
8 oz of shredded cheddar (shred your own)
5 scallion onions, chopped
5 slices of cooked, crumbled bacon OR 1 pk of Real bacon Bits (not immitation)
paprika

Directions:
Spray small baking dish. Nuke cauliflower for 13 min. Add cheeses, scallions and bacon. Combine and then smooth out in same dish. Dust top with paprika. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 for 20 to 40 min until golden brown and bubbly.


Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

Ingredients:
3/4 lb of brussels sprouts
1 red onion
1/2 lb bacon
2 Tb. butter
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:
Fill large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Trim brussels sprouts and remove any loose leaves. Add brussels sprouts to boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes until tender. Remove and put in an ice bath. Cool completely and drain.
Fry 1/2 lb of bacon and drain on paper towels, set aside. Chop one red onion. Drain most of the bacon fat, but leave a little in the pan and saute onion. Halve the brussels sprouts and add to pan with onion. Add 2 Tb butter and saute for 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to serving bowl and add crumbled bacon. Top with grated parmesan cheese. Toss and serve.

Mushroom Filled Meatloaf with Sour Cream Sauce
Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
1 c. chopped onion
2 T. butter

1 1/2 c. sour cream, divided

2 eggs
1/2 c. heavy cream or half and half 1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds Sautee mushrooms and onion in butter. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 c. sour cream. Set aside.

Directions:
Combine eggs, cream, ground beef, 1 tsp. salt and Worcestershire sauce. Put 1/2 of the mixture into a loaf pan. Make a shallow trough down the center of the meat. Spoon mushroom filling into the trough.

Shape remaining meat mixture on a piece of waxed paper to cover the meat loaf. Seal around all edges.

Bake for 1 hour at 350. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Sour Cream sauce:
Stir 1 c. sour cream, horseradish, 1/4 tsp. salt, paprika and poppy seeds. Heat over low heat until hot. Serve over sliced meatloaf.


Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Description:
I made this recently and it was great. My eleven year old begged for more and made me promise to make it again. The best part is that it is so healthy and super easy to make. I had never used lettuce as a wrap but loved it. Next time I will double the recipe.

Ingredients:
2 cups package coleslaw mix
1 sliced medium red pepper
2 chopped green onions
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro

2 6-oz packages of refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips
2 tablespoons bottled teriyaki sauce

8 Bibb lettuce leaves

Directions:
Combine first four ingredients in a food processor and process with several on/off pulses until finely chopped.

Transfer slaw mixture, two packages of chicken strips and two tablespoons of teriyaki sauce to large skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through.

Spoon slaw mixture and chicken onto 8 Bibb lettuce leaves; roll up.


Pumpkin Mousse


Ingredients:

1 can Pumpkin (15oz.)
2 cups milk
1 8 oz. tub Cool Whip sugar free
2 large packages instant sugar free fat free vanilla pudding
1 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 packets of SplendaBold
Directions:

Mix all ingredients together, chill and serve!

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