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Low Carb Vegetarians, what's on your plate?

I am eating a low carb to control my diabetes. It is hard not eating the carb rich foods I love like bagels, pizza, pasta & potatoes, rice and many more. Even grains & legumes are pretty high in carbs. I try to keep my carb intake @ around 75 grams daily max. I substitute the starchy carbs with eggs, cheese, meat, seafood & fats/oils. What do low carb vegetarians do? What's left to eat?

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  1. Vegetables that are low in carbs would be my guess.

    1. For me, the very rare non animal protein meal might involve Explore Asian Golden Soybean noodles with sesame/peanut sauce or prepared lo mein style with shredded tempeh or smoked tofu.

      Eggplant parm or lasagna made with eggplant or zucchini noodles (you can buy dried tofu sheets in Asian groceries to make lasagna, but I haven't tried it) and a lot of filling with a variety of cheeses and seasoning.

      Egg dishes, from frittata to crustless quiches.

      Eden black soybeans, canned or dried. Sometimes a cup of these with vinaigrette is my lunch in summer. Almost all protein fat and fiber. I make baked beans with these, use them in chili.

      Greek yogurt is great for veg protein, really high in it, can be used with nuts, seeds, a few berries as a treat wtih sweetener and vanilla extract or a savory meal with veggies and seasoning.

      Here's one version of a moderate carb veggie diet: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/th...

      1. Some low(er) carb ideas:
        -tempeh (15g carb per cup, 30g protein)
        - soybeans- aka edamame- approx 30g protein per cup and 7carb
        - seitan, used for faux meats, about 20g protein and 3g carbs in 1/3 cup
        - spinach has a surprising 6g protein in one cup fresh- once wilted its easy to eat twice that
        - nut butter
        - also defatted peanut flour is very high in protein with low carbs
        - hemp seeds have 10g protein and 2g carbs per serving
        - nonfat plain greek yogurt has 20g protein and 7g carbs per 6oz

        And this site has a fruit and vegetable carb chart that you can download and print for reference.

        There are also a number of books and websites if you google low carb vegetarian for tons of recipe ideas. For example, most of these breakfast ideas are vegetarian, for the few that are not it would be easy to swap in tofu or tempeh as a substitute

        1. Here's what I eat a lot of:

          Greek salad (please no comments on authenticity, this is the combo *I* like) - cucumber, tomatoes, onion, feta, olives, olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. I mix up a batch and have this either on it's own or over lettuce.

          Broccoli. I love and eat a ton of it.

          Zucchini. I either use the shredder disk of the food processor and use this as noodles for "spaghetti" or slice it into quarter moons for addition into other dishes, such as....

          Stirfies. A package of coleslaw mix is the basis of my stirfry, to which I add broccoli, zucchini, tofu, onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and chili paste.

          Leftover zucchini and broccoli get whizzed up in the FP with some onion and are put into muffin cups, to which I add eggs and cheese. I bought a large muffin pan just for this purpose.

          I admit that when I don't have the muffins around for breakfast I'll have a protein shake. 10 carbs with no fiber though...

          2 Replies
          1. re: MplsM ary

            Do you ever think "how did I live this long and not figure out XXX?" That is how I feel about your zucchini broccoli muffins. Do you use already cooked vegetables? Steamed? I need to try this.

            1. re: tcamp

              Yes the vegetables are already steamed. I use the pre-steamed zucchini shreds, just shredded, and whiz up the steamed broccoli and sauteed onion. I mix the veggies with some salt and pepper, maybe some hot sauce and mound this in the muffin cups about 2/3 full, add beaten eggs and top with cheese. Great for breakfast on their own or with a salad for lunch or dinner.

              As for the figuring it out part.... still working on that!

          2. Long-time vegetarian, NOT a dietitian.

            What has worked for me has been substituting food that is more dense in nutrition (i.e. a baked sweet potato,mashed, topped with salsa, vs. white-potatoes french-fried well-salted...).

            Running/walking 5+ miles per day helps too.

            Good luck and enjoy the ride.

            1. Well, my SIL is a modified vegetarian (her words, not mine!)..she eats fish (so, pescatarian?). She does a LOT with eggs, as MplsM ary and mcf noted, too. For our last family gathering, she did acorn squash stuffed with spinach (meatless...I think it was just spinach, aromatics (celery, onion) and maybe egg?)

              A lot of her recipes just modify things we're used to. Instead of stuffing peppers with ground beef and rice, she'll use seitan, garlic, etc....or tuna.

              I imagine low carb and vegan might be more difficult.

              1. You don't have to be low carb to control diabetes, just low in refined carbs. I recommend the book "the end of diabetes" to explain it. I'm not a shill, just a dietitian in training and that is one of my most oft-referenced books. For a more fun read, try "the year without sugar."

                7 Replies
                1. re: mariathewholefoodie

                  Thanks, I'm familiar with Dr. Fuhrman's work but I find his diet much more restrictive and unappealing than the low carb, high protein/fat diet that I'm currently eating and getting good results from. I've lowered my A1C 3 full points in six months & my endocrinologist is thrilled.

                      1. re: mariathewholefoodie

                        Thanks! I couldn't have done it without the knowledge and support of my fellow Chowhounders!

                      2. re: zackly

                        Way to go! I am in your boat too, Zackly, and have really gotten good information and camaraderie from Chowhound.

                      3. re: mariathewholefoodie

                        Your recommendation is frighteningly out of synch with good published research, all that is known about human metabolism and clinical outcomes.

                        Dangerously, scary out of touch with diabetic reality.

                        More importantly, the OP asked for low carb, and that's not what you offered.

                        1. re: mariathewholefoodie

                          Coincidentally, I have that book out from the library at this very moment. I was looking for low carb recipe ideas and picked that up. The author's definition of sugar is pretty limited to added sweeteners.

                          For many people (my husband!), just avoiding processed foods with sugar would be a huge improvement. But for me, a diabetic, I found the author's food choices way too high in carbs - for instance, bread is fine as long as no sugar is added. Any carbs I eat are from less refined sources (beans, WW crackers, etc.) but that is in very small doses. A big treat is 2 tablespoons of black beans on my taco salad.