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Jan 11, 2011 01:27 PM

No/Low Carb Meals

It's not terribly chowish, but I have had hardly any carbs since 1/1. I didn't have the guts to weigh myself and I still haven't but I can definitely tell I'm losing weight. We were expecting snow on Monday (and boy, did we get it) so I went out on Sunday and stocked up. I got sandwich makings for the family, among other things. I'm working from home and have been craving a reuben all day and since I know I have the makings for one, I had to improvise. I rinsed some sauer kraut and heated it in the microwave in a big mug. On top of that I added some thin slices of pastrami and on top of that, some sliced gruyere. Back in the microwave until it was all melted, then a dab of dijon.

It was delicious and easy, satisfied my craving and kept me carb free. I'd love to bring it to work (when we ever get dug out), but it would stink up the break room. What are your favorite carb free meals?

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  1. How carb-y are roasted vegetables? I just had some roasted carrots, onions, and potatoes with salmon. But maybe asparagus and garlic and onions would be less carb-y (than potatoes, at least). It was very delicious.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Jay F

      It depends on the vegetables. Carrots, potatoes, squash, corn...the sweeter veggies tend to be more carby.

      1. re: twodales

        potatoes are sweet? that's news to me. now, sweet potatoes.... *that's* some sweet stuff. and low(er) carb, go figure.

        1. re: linguafood

          Potatoes have a higher glycemic index similar to ingesting glucose believe it or not. Starch turns to sugar.

          My "sweet" comment is just a general rule to help one remember which veggies are low carb.

          1. re: twodales

            Yes, I am aware of that. I was under the impression, however, that sweet potatoes are lower in carbs than potatoes. Didn't I write that above?

            1. re: linguafood

              Sorry. Yes you are right about sweet potatoes. I thought you were looking for clarification. Miscommunication. ; )

              1. re: twodales

                No biggie. You'd be surprised how much miscommunication happens on these boards on a daily basis.

                1. re: linguafood

                  I think the general classification is root vegetables. They tend to be carbier than ones that grow above ground.

    2. Pretty much various versions of animal flesh. I lost 50 pounds eating extremely low carb, now I'm in pretty much the same shape as I was in during my 20's and I'm not as hardcore anymore, will eat a sweet potato or some black beans with dinner.

      You can have some cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts. No carrots, no potatoes, no rice, no wheat, no corn products.

      61 Replies
      1. re: redfish62

        Thank you for your response. I'm very familiar with the "rules". I lost about 30 pounds ten years ago but it slowly creeped back. I'm looking for creative, delicious ways to assemble meals, particularly ones that I can bring to work.

        1. re: southernitalian

          There's not a whole lot that you could bring to work except maybe some beef jerky.

          Once you cut out the carbs there is nothing left but protein and fat, and the number of delicious meals you can bring to work consisting of nothing but protein and fat is quite limited ... bacon and eggs isn't going to work.

          Really "delicious" is totally out the window ... you are pretty much stuck with "not delicious but edible and doesn't stink the joint up."

          1. re: redfish62

            Not true! I've been eating low carb since February and I'm never at a loss of delicious things!

            I take lots of leftovers for lunch I'll talk about my dinners. Most have a few carbs in them, but I try to stay under 20g a day so there's not much.

            -I do steak/pork/chicken breast + sauteed veggies a lot.
            -Preseasoned fajita meat with cheese, sour cream, and guac.
            -Chicken+ cauliflower curry
            - Heroin wings with any part of chicken
            -Meatzza which is a ground beef "crust" , pizza sauce (a few carbs) cheese and toppings.
            -Carnitas or pulled pork from the slow cooker.
            -Sausages! Italian sausage with spinach and alfredo sauce.
            -Beef stroganoff over riced cauliflower
            -Taco seasoned beef is good on a salad or with cheddar and ranch dressing.
            -Low carb chili
            - Cheddar soup with broccoli and chicken
            -Burgers with various toppings

            Cauliflower is a great starter for casseroles. Add some ham to this Cauliflower and Cheese and you've got a meal :

            Cheesy sausage, cauliflower and chicken bake

            If you have carbquick I love this cheeseburger pie with a mixture of beef and sausage

            I love the genaw site! So many recipes that she's tested and rated. Let me know if you need any recipes in particular!

            1. re: Lixer

              Lixer, your list is almost identical to mine - my husband takes LC leftovers to work every day. Today was leftover italian sausages sliced over a salad. Fajitas and taco meat (no tortillas!) are favorites as well, as are wings. He's also happy to reheat leftover burgers, stuffed mushrooms or zucchini, roast pork with fennel, kielbasa, sausage and peppers, chicken enchilada casserole, crustless quiche, etc. Some of these things surely smell when he reheats them, but no more than any carby food would. His co-workers are especially jealous when it's Buffalo wing day!

              1. re: biondanonima

                I realize I'm a bit late to be replying to this thread, but do you by any chance have a recipe for the enchilada casserole? Sounds delicious. I just started LC living a few weeks ago and am still sorting everything out.

                1. re: cellosubmarine

                  if you can do lo-carb tortillas, here's what i do...

                  Roast a chicken with garlic, onion, and Mexican seasoning. Reserve 1/2 cup of the juices. Cool and shred the chicken. Mix the broth with about 1 cup of sour cream, and 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (I make from scratch, but that's just me), or more to taste. Layer in a casserole dish some sauce, then low carb tortillas, then chicken, then shredded cheese (cheddar/jack/cotija) more tortillas, more sauce, more chicken, salsa, or sliced tomatoes (can omit if tomatoes have too much carbs for where you're at), and cilantro, then cheese to finish... bake til golden and serve with more sour cream...

                  or... you can do ground chicken/beef with a little onion, garlic, brown it up. layer some in a casserole dish, top with cheese, layer a mix of enchilada/sour cream sauce, then some crumbled pork rinds (if this grosses you out, skip this recipe), lather rinse repeat and finish with sauce and cheese, then bake.

                  1. re: Emme

                    Emme - Thanks so much for your reply! Sounds delicious. I would love your recipe for the sauce, if it's not too much trouble to type it out...? All of the bottled sauces I've found have sugar listed in the first few ingredients. Plus I like making sauces from scratch anyway. Do you make a bunch and freeze the excess? I'm in the mood to make a huge vat! Nomnom.

                    Thanks again!

                    1. re: cellosubmarine

                      no problem. i'll dig it out. i haven't made it in a few months. i never freeze it, but it's because i'm rather lazy about making excess. and i tend to find ways to use it up pretty quickly if i make to much... eggs, fish, once dipped fried cheeses in it...

                      1. re: Emme

                        Yay! Thanks! I can't wait. (My non-LC boyfriend agrees.)

                        1. re: Emme

                          Hi Emme,

                          Did you ever post your enchilada sauce recipe somewhere? I too would love to have it. TIA

                          1. re: Servorg

                            delinquent. guilty as charged.... this is approximate, and i vary the heat depending upon my mood and my audience...

                            2-4 tbsp chili powder (usually 3ish)
                            2 tbsp rice flour
                            1/2 tsp garlic powder
                            1/4 tsp cumin
                            1/4 tsp oregano
                            1/2 tsp salt
                            2 cups chicken stock (or more if it's too hot and you need to dilute)

                            combine everything but stock with a little oil in a saucepan. (often, i don't even use oil, and just use a bit of pan spray.) then add stock, stirring til everything dissolves and simmer til it thickens to desired consistency. voila.

                            no one asked, but personally i like to saute onions and garlic with green chiles, and add in shredded roasted chicken for part of my fillings...

                            sorry for the egregious response delay!

                            1. re: Emme

                              Thank you so much! I can't wait to try it. Have you ever tried any tomatoes in it? Or almond or soy flour? I think I'm going to use sous vided chicken, throw a little tomato sauce, your recipe, and then top it off with cheese. Nom nom nom. Will report back!

                              1. re: cellosubmarine

                                personally i like it as is. i may add tomatoes to my filling occasionally, but honestly, i like the smoky bite of the sauce...

                              2. re: Emme

                                I hate shaming people publicly, but when it comes to food I find I can make an exception! ;-D> Really, thanks for finding and posting the recipe, Emme. I am getting so sick of my low carb/no carb recipes that this will be great to add in to the rotation. Better later than never (channeling my mother now).

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  lol Servorg, no problem. when i first started reading your post, i forgot what i had written, and i thought you were going to proceed to shame my recipe... "i hate shaming people publicly, but this recipe is the worst i have ever...."

                                  too tired... is the week over yet??

                                  enjoy the recipe! hope it suits your taste buds.

                  2. re: Lixer

                    I'm getting stuck on the Heroin wings......I thought I knew every chicken recipe out there!

                    1. re: Lixer

                      Heroin wings? May I request the recipe? If it's as addicting as it sounds...well... :)

                      1. re: melanieelena85

                        This is pretty much the recipe that I use except I add some garlic and halve the oregano. I use it on all chicken parts and pork too.


                    2. re: redfish62

                      Once you cut out the carbs there is nothing left but protein and fat,


                      this is rubbish. i eat more veggies now on a low-carb plan than i did as a vegetarian, lol. i have been following a low-carb plan for 17 months, have lost 25 pounds and many many inches. my meals include plenty of olive oil, cream and butter and are sinfully delicious.

                      for most giving up grains, legumes and sugar does the trick.

                      for lunch i often have turkey, cheese and bacon over a salad with avocado.

                      anything that goes in a sandwich is fair game, just without the bread.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        "anything that goes in a sandwich is fair game, just without the bread."

                        Ditto for the taco, tortilla, wrap, pasta, etc...

                        I, too, eat a lot more veggies now than I did as a vegetarian, when I depended a lot more on starchy carbs as a dietary default. As a low carber, though, beans are only a very small part of my diet, and I don't count them as protein foods, except for black soybeans.

                        1. re: mcf

                          i've basically given up all grains and legumes, except for the occasional serving of edamame. they were the mainstay for me previously.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            I was on the Ornish diet, years ago, getting sicker and sicker til I discovered it was the diet doing me harm. It was torture without reward; low carb is the opposite.

                            1. re: mcf

                              yup. all those years of "healthy grains" and i could never figure out why i was sick all the time.

                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                What kind of sick do you mean, if you don't mind me asking? I've been trying to figure out a diet that agrees with me since my digestive and immune systems went haywire a few years ago. One thing I haven't experimented with cutting out is healthy grains!

                                1. re: gembellina

                                  gembellina, that's a question for your doctor...when we dive into discussions about medical conditions the moderators usually end up having to remove the posts. but if you're experiencing digestive distress after eating wheat, rye, barley or oats, you could have a gluten sensitivity. or it could be a symptom of some other autoimmune condition - best to get checked out by a professional.

                                  the good news is that if it does turn out to be an intolerance of some sort, there are many of us here who live with varying degrees of gluten sensitivity, Celiac disease and food allergies, so you have a bunch of experts at your disposal to offer suggestions for alternatives and adjustments!

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    It's also very common for severe bloating, GERD and IBS to completely resolve upon withdrawal of grains from the diet, due to insulin resistance, without any gluten intolerance or immune sensitivity. BTDT. Asthma, too, anecdotally. Keeping it on topic, once a meal contains grain, due to carb and calorie density, it's not a low carb meal any more.

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      it's definitely not an autoimmune condition or a symptom of any other illness as that's all been checked out. I'd never really considered gluten (she says with a slice of toast in her hand!) I'll do some reading, thanks guys.

                                      And back on topic, I find that Low-carb is easier to do in smaller portions. A small plate of sauteed courgettes to start, something simialr to a pasta sauce but without the pasta, bulked out with extra protein or maybe some beans if you're still eating beans, then some yoghurt or something for pudding. I find it much harder to feel full when I'm not eating as many carbs, so eating over a longer period of time definitely helps in that regard.

                                      1. re: gembellina

                                        Protein is the most satiating food, keeps hunger away the longest with it's slow conversion to glucose. so you definitely want a significant part of each meal and snack to be protein. In my case, and your mileage may vary, animal proteins satiate best, particularly in a high fat meal.

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          eating a meal high in animal protein compared to the other components certainly does make me feel full faster, but i often find it to be too rich, and rather than feeling satisfied after a meal i just feel a bit nauseous. I try to snack on almonds and brazil nuts, as I do find that animal fats in large quantities disagree with me. For that reason I'm tending towards glycaemic index/glycaemic load, rather than strict no/low carb. But that might be a discussion for another thread!

                                          1. re: gembellina

                                            Or another web site, according to the mods. :-)

                                            1. re: gembellina

                                              "eating a meal high in animal protein compared to the other components certainly does make me feel full faster, but i often find it to be too rich"
                                              perhaps opt for leaner proteins?

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                That can work, and sometimes it depends on what meat it is, lean or not. I get queasy after eating lamb, even though I like it, but no problem with well marbled beef, for example. When I first started low carbing, I'd been so low fat for so many years, I had a terrible time digesting/tolerating any... but the lamb thing has been lifelong. No other signs of any sensitivity to it...

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  Oh this is so true. Eating low carb and allowing fat and protein into one's diet after a decade or two of eating low fat is very strange. I still don't like really rich food.

                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                    I do, and cooking with real cream, eating brie, well marbled ribeye steak, etc. is no problem for me now, but it was when I first made the switch. OTOH, alfredo sauce makes me queasy, as do macadamia nuts, and I love the taste of both. So it's not the fat, it's something about each food apart from that, for me, anyhoo.

                                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                  no!! what would life be without butter and the fat on a pork chop??!! seriously though, even chicken breast and eggs can seem like "overdoing" it. i think the point about switching fom low-fat to low-carb/higher-fat/higher-protein is a good one. it still seems so wrong - cheese bad brown rice good!

                                                  1. re: gembellina

                                                    I'm finding that pork chops are quite lean. The last pair I broiled had their fat trimmed off! The pork is so lean it is dry when cooked.

                                                    But I have always loved pork chops and still do. I also like the dark meat of chicken, so now on low carb I can have that with a clear conscience. And I can eat the crispy skin of a roast chicken! It is worth not eating carbs just to be able to do that without guilt!

                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                      It's quite possible to eat the skin on roast chicken, dark meat, and pork chops without feeling guilty, and without being on low-carb.

                                                3. re: gembellina

                                                  There is another thread on glycemic index/glycemic load: with some information you might find useful.

                                                4. re: mcf

                                                  I agree...if I eat boiled eggs, scrambled eggs,or low fat cottage cheese or meats, I'm not hungry for many hours.

                                                  1. re: walker

                                                    For me, if I eat sausage and eggs, I don't think about eating again for 6 hours. But I rarely eat breakfast at all, and when I do, it's rarely sausage and eggs. It really stands out as incredibly satiating when I do... I seem to need a substantial amount of fat with my proteins to get the fullest effect, but I'm usually closer to a modest 50% of calories from fat.

                                          2. re: gembellina

                                            sick, as in colds, coughs and various respiratory ailments all winter and various degrees of "allergies" almost all year long. coughing so bad for weeks at a time that i coughed up blood. run-down, insomnia and night-sweats. the 3 latter ailments i chalked up to age, but since cutting out grains and high carb foods, ALL of these issues have disappeared completely. i have not even had a sniffle in 2 winters. it took me a while to put 2+2 together, but it seems pretty irrefutable at this point.

                                            making the switch from low-fat to high fat was a tough mind-change, but now it's second-hand nature. i eat far more vegetables everyday than i did as a vegetarian, when my diet was based on legumes and grains.

                                            leafy greens, zucchini, broccoli and artichoke hearts are regulars on my plate, while the protein plays second fiddle. while i eat LOTS of eggs, i don't eat very much red meat all that often and a portion is only 4 ounces or so, so i find that pretty easy to do. if i'm not hungry, i don't eat. without the glucose spikes and dips from carbs my appetite is much more easily managed and reasonable.

                                            it's fat, not protein, that makes you feel sated, and my diet is full of olive oil, various nut oils, avocados and butter. yes, butter.

                                            for example, for breakfast, i'll have a big pile of mustard greens or spinach sauteed in 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter. add 2 eggs to that and i'm often not hungry, not even thinking about food,until much later in the day.

                                            there are lots of reliable websites for info. stay away from forums that are mostly members chiming in with what may be bad advice or false info.

                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                              "it's fat, not protein, that makes you feel sated, and my diet is full of olive oil, various nut oils, avocados and butter. yes, butter."

                                              I was nodding my head throughout your post til I read this. That's not only not my experience, it's not what most research demonstrates. Fat makes you feel full faster while you're eating, but protein is what keeps you satiated for hours after eating by converting to energy slowly over all that time.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                excess protein gets converted to glucose, just like excess carbs. this doesn't happen with consumed fat. i'm sated much longer by some chicken mixed with mayo than plain chicken. ymmv.

                                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                  All carbs convert to glucose, not just excess ones, and quickly, producing a glucose and resultant insulin spike. Protein does not all convert to carbs and unlike carbs, converts slowly and inefficiently and doesn't even show up in the blood glucose in a measurable way. It's the slowness of the conversion and the steady trickle of energy from protein that prevents hunger. This is a very well studied and documented phenomenon.

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    i mis-typed with "excess" carbs. i understand the science. i find it a little strange you don't find fat to provide satiety? i certainly have never heard that, especially with low-carb eating. upping the percent of fat in the diet is usually recommended on this plan.

                                                    however people often confuse the difference between low-carb and high-protein eating. many folks think i'm eating 28 oz. sirloins every meal, which is obviously not the case.

                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                      I'm sure they think you're eating them with bacon, cheese and mayo, too, and with no veggies. :-) Aside from the satiating effect of making one feel full faster, studies show that fat is not the satiety factor that protein is. But as you know, any individual can have a different experience than studies might capture.

                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                        grrrr... i've been stuck above goal for way too long and recently read a study about cheese and insulin response. since that, i've cut it out almost entirely and the weight is coming off again. it;s tough cuz i love it so, but clearly i do better with only a taste now and then. boo-hoo.

                                                        yes, everybody is different.

                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                          Sometimes it is the thing we love the most, and therefore eat the most, that causes us grief. Could you share what you have learned about the effect of cheese on insulin?

                                              2. re: hotoynoodle

                                                Actually, most low carbers feel that more protein is what you need to feel satiation, and maintain energy. If I am going to be walking treadmill, I make sure to have plenty of protein in my breakfast. Fat is secondary.

                                                I do agree that changing from a low fat to a low carb eating plan is a difficult transition.

                                      2. re: mcf

                                        There are some very good bagels now with 5 net carbs or bread with 1 ...toasting makes them great and they aren't gluten heavy. They haven't stalled me. So sandwiches are possible.

                                        Hot wings naked are very low carb ... sauce half butter half Louisiana hot sauce.

                                        1. re: Cinnamon

                                          I have not found 1 carb bread. Could you share the product? Thanks!

                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                            The only 1 carb bread I ever tried was vile. OTOH, I like Joseph's low carb pitas once in a while.

                                            1. re: mcf

                                              I can't imagine how 1 carb bread would be made. However I do make buns from golden flaxseed and almond meal. They are OK. They are no carb for me. You might disagree, but they work in my eating plan this way. I wish I liked them better.

                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                I used to make flax muffins, but after all these years I find myself just not looking for bread subs as much. I always have some Joseph's LC pitas in my freezer, some very good rye lc wraps with caraway seeds that are a store brand, and sometimes, Weight Watchers multi grain bread. I can picture the wrapper on the 1 gram bread, it had a blue label, but I've wiped the name of it from my brain. No one needs bread badly enough to eat that stuff!

                                                1. re: sueatmo

                                                  The buns sound interesting, would you be able to post the recipe or link?

                                        2. re: hotoynoodle

                                          for most giving up grains, legumes and sugar does the trick.
                                          right, but that's not giving up ALL carbs. in redfish's defense, the comment about there being nothing left but protein and fat once you "cut out the carbs" is *technically* correct if you cut out absolutely all sources, including fibrous vegetables...of course when most people say they're "giving up" or cutting out carbs, they're usually referring to grains, sugar and starchy vegetables, not lettuce :)

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            The only grain I eat (not too often, though) is corn, usually in soups. It, um, tends to pass through unscathed and doesn't seem to affect me so I figure it's okay. :D

                                        3. re: redfish62

                                          au contraire! bacon and eggs will go to work. ok, if there's no microwave then scrambling the eggs or eating hot bacon and eggs will be difficult (but don't underestimate the power of a tealight). deviled eggs topped with crumbled bacon, for example.

                                            1. re: pericolosa

                                              a little container of chopped up hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon, shredded lettuce and mayo, with some sambal sauce is an awesome at-work meal, hot or cold.

                                        4. I'm a former low carber back on the wagon - here are some things we've had:

                                          Flank steak w/chimichurri
                                          tilapia with garlic & ginger (steamed)
                                          baked buffalo wings w/blue cheese dressing
                                          tomorrow will be a pork roast & I will try to do the italian wedding soup w/ just the mini meatballs & escarole in chicken broth.

                                          Good luck! It's the only diet that works for me.

                                          1. Oh, I so disagree that low carb eating has to be awful food. I've made the reuben casserole before, and it taught me to think "casserole" or "gratin" for any kind of sandwich. I make deep dish pizza casserole that is to die for. With a veggie and a salad on the side it's great. I made meatball kale soup for dinner tonight. We're in moderate carb mode now, so we can have some breads, beans, etc. but when we're in full-on low carb my hubby takes lettuce wraps to work. You can change them up a thousand ways, from plain old ham and cheese, to Thai to fish taco, etc. Wrap them in parchment or waxed paper. I go to all the low carb websites and read their recipes. This time of year I make many kinds of chili, topped with cheese or pepitas (if you're having nuts). Lots of stews work beautifully, too. I thicken them with some bran. If you put it in early in the process, it's almost indiscernible. No one has ever noticed it's there. and hubby spoons in more (crazy, huh?). I have a spiral veggie cutter and serve pasta sauces on zucchini "noodles." I make stroganoff with zucchini "pappardelle" by cutting thin strips with a vegetable peeler. You have to put them in just at the end. Sauteed zucchini nests sub for beds of rice. Of course, you already know about cauliflower mash. Think double stuffed potatoes and make a similar dish with cauli, bacon, sour cream, chives - whatever. Get creative, get on the web, and keep getting fit. As I get older I find my digestion just cannot tolerate simple carbs as well, so I'm glad I had these low carb strategies in my repertoire. Never settle for bad food; make it delicious.

                                            1. Here's a good one for when you really want pizza (I just made this the other night and photographed for my Facebook page):

                                              Eggplant "Pizza"

                                              Peel and cut an eggplant into 1/2" slices. Salt the slices liberally on both sides and layer them between paper towels for at least half an hour (this removes any bitterness and causes the eggplant to absorb less oil when it's fried). Then, each slice gets dipped in beaten egg, dredged in grated parmesan cheese (the canned kind that's very finely grated works best) and fried on both sides in a skillet containing about 1/2 inch of hot oil. When golden brown on both sides, drain on a paper towel and then arrange the eggplant on a baking sheet, top with a tablespoon or so of pizza sauce (which only has about 1 carb per TBS), then sprinkle on mozzerella cheese and add your favorite pizza toppings (black olives, pepperoni, Italian sausage crumbles and sauteed mushrooms are all low carb). Bake at 400 until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

                                              It's not bad...really!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: sweet_polly

                                                polly - I've made my eggplant similarly but in my waffle iron. Worked great w/o the frying. Hope everyone keeps sharing the good low carb recipes...

                                                1. re: debvil

                                                  How awesome...I'll bet it's gets crispier, too. Thanks for the tip!

                                                2. re: sweet_polly

                                                  i'll be making this soon! thanks. my kids will love it too...2 year old loves eggplant.