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Feb 27, 2010 10:20 AM

Chowish, labor-Intensive Low-Carb recipes?

I know you're out there - long-term low carbers who've moved past grilled meat w/salad and veggies on the side and made your low-carb fun to cook.

What ideas do you have for me? I love to cook, but am moderately limited by being landlocked in west TX w/out a sizeable ethnic section in the grocery stores in which I shop. (Save for Mexican/Tex-Mex, of course.) Oh, and low-carb is so over in my area - which I find a blessing in disguise - I prefer to keep my low-carb "clean" w/out a bunch of artificial this or LOW CARB! that. (Save for drinks.)

I'm open to anything - I've never met a cuisine I didn't like. (Tho my husband doesn't care for curries, or Indian food in general, come to think of it.)

ETA: I'm really not all that invested in finding "replacements" for things. While I like cauliflower, I like it more as cauliflower than fauxtatoes.

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  1. Sorry, this isn't a recipe, but have you tried the Dreamfield's pasta? It hugely expanded my repertoire of low-carb meals.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jvanderh

      Oh yes, I am having Dreamfields penne rigate for dinner tonight with sauteed shrimp, asparagus, grape tomatoes, onion, garlic & parsley.

      1. re: jvanderh

        I know this is an old post, but Dreamfields is not low carb; it's all the carbs, but slower to digest. So if you're diabetic like me, you get a spike in blood glucose at 3-5 hours after eating instead of 1 hour as with all other meals, and it lasts a very long time. Some folks have better luck with it, but most diabetics who test it see the late, long spike.

        Carba Nada noodles don't claim to be anything but low GI and high fiber, and I've had much better results; never had a blood glucose spike after eating them, even a large portion.

        As a rule, though, I eat clean, too, hate LC frankenfoods and pretty much avoid starches completely as a rule.

        1. re: mcf

          The box says 5g digestible carbs per serving, but it looks like people have reported different blood sugar responses: An official serving is 2 oz. I weighed it out once, and it made a tiny amount of cooked pasta-- maybe half a cup-- so people eating different amounts may be part of the discrepancy. I remember reading something about the protected carbs acting as soluble fiber and being broken down by microbes in the gut. Could be that this doesn't happen exactly the same way in everyone.

          1. re: jvanderh

            I weighed the 2 oz, and other folks I know also measured, to see if there was a tolerable amount we could eat. Another issue is cooking time; the more al dente, the better. I cooked it only 6 minutes. And baking it after boiling or storing as a pasta salad both seem to negate the fiber blend effect completely. I know one diabetic who says regular pasta doesn't spike her, but Dreamfield's does. The company knows this but persists in misleading labeling.

            I do know of some diabetics who have no spike from it at all. YMMV, as always.

      2. You might check this site and see if anything appeals to you, I have it bookmarked for when I want to get rid of those winter craving carbs pounds.

        1. Made this and am eating it for a couple of days for dinner...I fry up a couple of eggs in bacon fat over easy and plop them on top, very nice...

          1. I've been an Atkins gal for 10 years and like you, I prefer to eat "clean." I also find it much easier to stick with my diet when I simply accept that I don't eat bread anymore rather than trying to find a replacement for it.

            That said, I have been experimenting with tofu as a noodle replacement lately and I find that it works really well in some cases. I found a recipe for fake mac and cheese online that used extra firm tofu instead of noodles and have been playing around with it ever since. It's really kind of amazing how the tofu takes on the same texture that pasta has in that particular dish. You just drain the tofu well, cut it into 1/4" thick slices and then cut the slices into 1/4" strips, sort of the size of macaroni noodles.

            Anyway, the mac and cheese thing also led me to develop a "recipe" for a bechamel substitute. Basically, I take cauliflower and cook it until extremely soft, then puree it with some heavy cream, cream cheese and sour cream. It doesn't taste anything like bechamel, of course, but it is a great jumping off point for making other types of creamy things. I use it as a base for clam chowder, broccoli cheese soup, cheese sauce for the mac and cheese, etc. It thickens any type of soup or sauce without adding too much in the way of carbs. Last night I was having a tuna casserole craving, so I made some of the cauliflower puree and used it to make a cream-of-mushroom-esque sauce, then added it to tuna and tofu, baked it in a casserole and topped it with cheese and crushed pork rinds for a crispy topping. It's actually quite good!

            I get tired of grilled meat and salad too so I'm always trying to find more interesting ways to prep and serve stuff. I love stuffing peppers (poblano, bell or italian frying) or zucchini with meat seasoned in various ways, different types of stir fry, kebabs and satays with different marinades and sauces, fajita/vaca frita/taco salads, asian chicken lettuce wraps, etc. I use a mixture of crushed pork rinds and nuts to bread cutlets to make LC Wiener Schnitzel, chicken parmigiano, etc. I make frico chips out of parmesan cheese and use them like crackers for dips, homemade pate, etc. It can be a challenge to keep it interesting, but that's part of the fun!

            7 Replies
              1. re: biondanonima

                Would this work with regular block-type tofu? Not sure where to find "extra-firm"....

                1. re: AnchovyBourdain

                  Yes, what I use is regular "block" tofu - if you look, most grocery stores carry the blocks in soft, medium, firm and extra firm. I imagine firm would work, but it will probably end up being a bit too soft to take on the texture of noodles. I use extra firm and drain it as well as I can - the drier it is, the more "al dente" the finished product. I usually take it out of the fridge an hour or two before I want to use it and place it between a bunch of paper towels, then put a weight on top to press out as much moisture as possible.

                  1. re: biondanonima

                    Have you checked the refrigerator case in an Asian market, if you have access to one?
                    They have both large sheets and packages of "dried tofu noodles" that are a lot like Chinese egg noodles in shape and texture. You don't boil them, but can add them to sauces or saute them with stuff. Very low carb, too.

                    1. re: mcf

                      The only refrigerated tofu noodles I've ever seen are shirataki noodles (which are actually made of tofu plus some weird indigestible potato starch). They're okay, but I much prefer the extra firm tofu. What you're talking about sounds like something else, though - I'll have to take a look the next time I go to the asian market.

                      1. re: mcf

                        Would you mind (if you have some) writing or taking a picture of what exactly is on the package? I'm intrigued but often have trouble finding what I'm looking for with this sort of thing. Thank you so much!

                        1. re: cellosubmarine

                          cello, you're looking for something like this:



                          they may be labeled as soybean curd noodles, tofu shreds, or gan si.

                2. I'm a lazy cook, but this is one of my higher effort winter meals, beef burgundy:

                  also, eggplant noodles, though I had to punch up the seasoning a bit:

                  I also make Thai curries (coconut milk base) with chicken and shrimp and veggies and eat it from a soup bowl, no rice, in cold weather.

                  Oh, and my new favorite brisket recipe, which I also use for braised short ribs, but I skip the horseradish and sour cream; overbearing flavor and turned the rich sauce grey:

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mcf

                    try using fresh horseradish instead of the jarred stuff in the brisket recipe - mellower flavor, and no vinegar to turn the sauce grey.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Thanks for the tip, but I don't miss the cream calories, either so I just sort of use his ingredients without either the hr or sc. The sauce has a great, concentrated flavor after reduction all by itself. This year's braises so far have all been by eye and memory, a blend of my favorite recipes using no recipe... so far, so good.

                      1. re: mcf

                        good to know - i'm all for cutting back on the cream, though i do adore horseradish. i'm bookmarking the recipe :)

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          It's very good, though I've taken to just bundling the fresh herbs with string, and smashing, then chopping garlic. And pureeing the veggies part way after skimming some fat and reducing it all. Oh, and I often skip the mushrooms, too, when I'm lazy.
                          It's still great meatloaf, though the shrooms add a lot of richness.
                          Between Ina's company pot roast and Tyler's braised brisekt, I know what to put into the pot without sticking to plan. She purees all the veggies, Tyler tosses them away... In either case, a bed of rutabaga puree goes really, really well under either.